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.
This program updates and/or introduces various points of inquiry:
Former Obama U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was one of just a handful of mainstream politicians who (VERY belatedly) got things right. Speaking of Steve Bannon’s elevation to a position of primacy on the NSC, she observed: ” . . . . ‘Trump loves and trusts the military so much he just kicked them out of the National Security Council and put a Nazi in their place,’ she said. . . .”
Bannon’s ascension is noteworthy: “ . . . . But the defining moment for Mr. Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the ‘principals committee’ of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities. It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the president’s top military and intelligence advisers. . . .”
Bannon’s ascension to the NSC should be analyzed against the background of the martial law contingency plans drawn up by Oliver North and still on the books. This is discussed at length in AFA #32.
One of the key features of the martial law contingency plans involved the federal deputization of paramilitary right-wingers to maintain order. The military, even with the assistance of the National Guard, does not have the manpower to maintain civilian order. It is our suspicion that Bannon may be involved with the implementation of such activities.
Notorious troll, blogger and Nazi/white-supremacist fellow traveler Charles “Chuck” Johnson has substantive input in Trump’s cabinet selections. Worth noting is the fact that Johnson may be operating in tandem with Peter Thiel, whose database named the “Plum List” bears a striking similarity to a website “ThePlumlist.com,” apparently being used by Johnson to help staff Trump’s administration.
“ . . . . Despite his disregard for facts and reckless approach to publishing, Johnson, who was recently photographed at a dinner attended by white supremacists in Washington, D.C., built a significant following among many who self-identified as being a part of the ‘alt-right.’ Trump drew significant support from those same followers during the election. . . . .
” . . . . Johnson also helped create a database where potential political appointees could send in their resumes to be considered for government positions. He has access to the website ThePlumlist.com, and though the recently created website remains dormant, candidates have been told to send their information to an email account associated with that domain. In November, The Daily Mail reported that Thiel maintains a database called the “Plum List” to track potential hires and qualified applicants. Sources familiar with the situation described the list as an intake system for the team, and said it was separate from the version that Thiel and his closest associates use to track final selections that are forwarded to Trump. . . .”
Johnson had a very telling observation near the end of the following article: ” . . . Johnson attributed much of the work that he and others have done in support of Trump to being able to tap into voters’ emotions through memes, such as the Pepe the Frog cartoon that became an informal mascot for Trump supporters. . . .”
A sign of the times manifested in Kentucky, where a group of tan, military style vehicles flying a Trump banner was spotted. “ . . . . Davis said it would also violate regulations to run a military convoy with no unit markings on the vehicles, and said he did not think the vehicles belonged to any service branch. Per the report, he suggested that they were military surplus. . . . ”
The vehicles belonged to an elite SEAL unit. “. . . . ‘The convoy were service members assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit driving vehicles while transiting between two training locations,’ Lieutenant Jacqui Maxwell, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, told ABC News. Naval Special Warfare Units is the official Navy term for its elite SEAL special operations teams.. . . . ”
The founder of “the artists formerly known as Blackwater” Erik Prince has been serving as a back channel adviser on intelligence and security matters to Trump. “. . . . he may be making a comeback, this time as a backchannel advisor on intelligence and security matters to US President Donald Trump, The Intercept reported on Tuesday. It’s unclear when Prince made his way into Trump’s inner circle, but he has made sizable contributions to the pro-Trump Political Action Committee (PAC). The Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings for the PAC shows he made a contribution of $100,000 in September 2016 to their efforts. His mother Elisa Prince also gave $50,000 to the committee. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos is Trump’s Secretary of Education choice. . . .”
In FTR #’s 941 and 942, we examined Tulsi Gabbard (D–HI), usually described as a “rising star” in the Democratic Party. Of substantively greater interest for our purposes is the fact that she was one of the driving forces behind the Bernie Sanders phenomenon.
This program updates that analysis, setting forth more about Gabbard’s behavior, associates and fascist/Underground Reich associations:
a)Gabbard received kid glove treatment from Pierre Omidyar’s Honolulu Civil Beat.
b)She recently took an unannounced, and possibly illegal, trip to Syria, during which she met with Bashar Assad. This further disrupts an already badly weakened Democratic Party.
c) Her trip was shepherded by: “. . . . Gabbard’s office claims her trip was funded by the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (Aaccess) – Ohio; however, the group has not reported any financial revenue to the US government since 2006. Bassam Khawam, the executive director of Aaccess who traveled with Gabbard, reportedly belongs to a pro-Assad Lebanese political party, the Syrian Social Nationalist party (SSNP). The party has dispatched its members to fight on behalf of the Assad regime during the nearly six-year war. . . .”
d) Bassam Khawam’s political affiliation with the Syrian Social Nationalist Party is “interesting”: ” . . . . They greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing their Arabic anthem, “Greetings to You, Syria,” to the strains of “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”; and throng to the symbol of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion. These are the hallmarks of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), the oldest terrorist organization in existence today and one of the most secret and deadly. . . .”
e)More about Khawam’s political ally, the SSNP: “. . . . [founder Antun] Saadeh emigrated again to Brazil in 1938 and afterwards to Argentina, only to return to Lebanon in 1947 following the country’s independence from the French in 1943. On his way to Argentina, he visited Italy and Berlin, which increased the suspicions of the French that the SSNP might have been entertaining relations with the Axis. . . . Reeva Simon writes: “the party’s ‘leader for life’, was an admirer of Adolf Hitler influenced by Nazi and fascist ideology”. The party adopted a reversed swastika as the party’s symbol, sang the party’s anthem to Deutschland über alles, and included developing the cult of a leader, advocating totalitarian government, and glorifying an ancient pre-Christian past and the organic whole of the Syrian Volk or nation. . . . .”
Gabbard co-sponsored a bill that would classify anyone opposing Ukraine’s entry into the EU as a “terrorist.”
The program concludes with examination of another alleged Russian “hack,” which smells suspiciously like a “cyber-false flag” operation: ” . . . . Two new users showed up as registered administrators of the website: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The ‘.ru’ suffix indicates a Russian origin, Benson said. The profile pages of the users had characters in the Russian alphabet in ‘Address’ and ‘About Me’ fields, she said. . . .She said she can’t say whether Russians were really involved or whether the addresses could have been faked by someone mimicking a connection based on what had been in the news. But it was important that police and the FBI become involved, to ‘make this information part of the body of information police and the FBI are compiling from the national investigation,’ she said. . . .”
Program Highlights Include: The inclusion of Gabbard’s associates in the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS in a prestigious Indian literary festival, symptomatic of a phenomenon similar to the rise of Trump: “. . . . ‘We are acknowledging that the intellectual nerve center has shifted, and the seat of cultural power has shifted, because no one was interested in inviting these guys before 2014,’ said Supriya Nair, a writer and editor who has attended the festival for the last six years. In any case, she said, the shift rightward had already taken place in the larger society. ‘This is a last bastion,’ she said. . . .”; Narendra Modi’s rise in India, what Supriya Nair described as a shift of “the intellectual nerve center” has been fueled by “dark money;” Trump PR man Felix Sater’s role in shepherding Trump’s trips to Russia; review of Sater’s work for the CIA;
review of Pierre Omidyar’s role in financing the rise of Narendra Modi and the OUN/B fascist in Ukraine.
Change is coming to Washington DC. Mostly horrible changes. But as we’ll see in this post, there is one very significant and positive change coming as a consequence of the unified GOP control of the White House and Congress: GOP is actually going to start getting the blame it deserves for all the damage its pro-oligarch/anti-everyone-else agenda routinely inflicts upon the American people. Politics can be frustrating for a myriad of reasons, but one of the biggest sources of frustration is the cloud of perpetual obfuscation and confusion that tends to permeate the political discourse and collective understanding of what’s actually happening, why it’s happening, and who should be rewarded or blamed for it. But for the next couple of years, at a minimum, it’s going to be very clear who to blame for the damage DC is about to unleash, and it’s not just going to be Donald Trump. And when it comes to health care “reform” (privatization) that the GOP is about to impose upon the populace, that blame is about to get dangerously diffusive for state legislatures and governorships because the Health Care Austerity Hot Potato is about to get tossed in their laps over and over. Indefinitely. And since the GOP controls almost all state legislatures and governorships at the moment they won’t be able to prevent themselves from slashing these programs. So with the coming block granting of first Medicaid and then Medicare (or maybe both together), the politics of health care is about to get weird. And tragic because the GOP won’t be able to help itself with all the austerity
Continuing discussion of the Trump administration as the transformation of the Underground Reich into an above-ground mass movement, we return to the subject of the supposed Russian “hacks” during the election, German Ostpolitik and an apparent struggle between the American “Deep State” and the Trumpenkampfverbande.
Citing the extensive capabilities of the NSA, a group of veteran intelligence officers has concluded that the “evidence” of Russia having hacked the DNC is not credible: ” . . . The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like ‘our best guess’ or ‘our opinion’ or ‘our estimate’ etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been ‘hacked’ cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC. . . .”
In the context of the high-profile hacks, the program reviews information from previous discussions in FTR #’s 917, 923, 924, 925, 926 dealing with WikiLeaks, Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone, Edward Snowden, the DNC hack and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” and the “painting of Oswald Red,” including:The fact that Trump’s dirty tricks operative Roger Stone was in direct contact with Julian Assange prior to, and during, WikiLeaks’ publishing of the e-mails from DNC and John De Podesta;The fact that Stone promised an “October Surprise” from WikiLeaks that would affect the campaign; The fact that available evidence does NOT implicate the Russians in the DNC hack at all; The fact that the Shadow Brokers accessing of NSA hacking technologies was probably not a hack at all, but a leak by an insider using a thumb drive; Edward Snowden’s suspicious and, frankly, damning support for the untenable “the Russians did it” interpretation of the DNC penetration and the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” Snowden’s curious tweet issued after the DNC hack and just before the Shadow Brokers surfaced–Snowden said “It’s time,” which has never been explained (we suspect that it may have been a signal to release the ANT/TAO material;) the fact that WikiLeaks associate Jacob Applebaum, who appears to have assisted Snowden’s flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong, is seen as a suspect in the Shadow Brokers “non-hack;” Applebaum’s and Snowden’s affiliation with the CIA.
Next, the program highlights the allegation that a DNC insider leaked the e-mails to WikiLeaks: “. . . . And, even though The New York Times and other big news outlets are reporting as flat fact that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts and gave the information to WikiLeaks, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told the London Daily Mail that he personally received the email data from a “disgusted” Democrat. [Might that have been Tulsi Gabbard?–D.E.] . . . Murray added that his meeting was with an intermediary for the Democratic leaker, not the leaker directly. [Might that have been Roger Stone?–D.E.]. . .”
In the context of a possible Trump mole inside the DNC, possibly assisting the “hacks,” we highlight Trumenkampfverbande links to the former DNC Deputy Chairperson Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and to Narendra Modi’s BJP, a political front and cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS. The salient points include:
Trump’s business links with members of Modi’s BJP. “. . . . Mr. Trump’s partner in the Trump Tower Mumbai is the Lodha Group, founded by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party — currently the governing party in Parliament — in Maharashtra State. . . . His partner in an office complex in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, is IREO, whose managing director, Lalit Goyal, is the brother-in-law of a Bharatiya Janata member of Parliament, Sudhanshu Mittal. . . .”
a) Trump’s interview of Gabbard for a possible cabinet position.
b) Steven K. Bannon’s affinity for Gabbard: ” . . . . Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, reportedly likes Gabbard because of her stance on guns, refugees and Islamic extremism . . .”
c) Bannon’s strong affinity for Modi: ” . . . The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”
d) Gabbard’s association with Modi and the BJP: “. . . . Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American in the US Congress, called on visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday and presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawaii. Gabbard, a strong supporter of Modi, is a Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii. . . . She has also been involved in the planning of Modi’s US visit and had last month met two BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and MP Rajyavardhan Rathore in that connection. . . .”
e) Gabbard’s association with the RSS: ” . . . As she hobnobbed with the Indian prime minister and foreign minister among others, The Telegraph, a Kolkata-based newspaper, called her “the Sangh’s mascot” in the US. The Sangh, a moniker for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is a right-wing hindutva organisation and the ideological guardian of the BJP party that rules India now. . . .”
The FBI has weighed in on the “hacks,” opining that it was Russia trying to elevate Trump. If so, that would place the FBI and Russia on the same page, as the bureau’s nakedly partisan behavior during the campaign is quite obvious at this point. When the FBI supposedly detected Russia hacking the DNC, it called the IT “Help Desk” and the call was treated by the receptionist as a prank call. ” . . . So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT ‘help desk.’ As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: ‘We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.’ . . . ”
VICE News has filed a lawsuit against the FBI requesting information about a number of subjects which could prove very explosive IF the bureau divulges the full extent of the information it has on the subjects. “ . . . The suit also seeks all FBI emails mentioning Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner, Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump advisers Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone and Kellyanne Conway, CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, Fox News host Sean Hannity, or Fox News anchor Bret Baier, among others. . . . ”
The latter part of the program highlights a number of topics that will be covered at greater length in FTR #940.
Program Highlights Include:
a) Trump’s appointment of another “Alt-Right” figure (Stephen Miller) as a top adviser.
b) The apparent role of Ukrainian fascists in generating the “Russia did it” disinformation about the DNC hack.
d) The Austrian Freedom Party’s networking with Trump National Security Adviser-designate Michael Flynn and their support for lifting Russian sanctions.
e) Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson’s opposition to sanctions against Russia.
f) The Bormann capital network’s massive holdings in Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon, now Exxon Mobil.)
g) Indications that Ukrainian fascist networks may be involved with the “Russia did it” meme on the high-profile hacks.
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.
This fifth and final installment of the series references the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”
In the previous program, we opined that we all, in a sense, are enrolled in Trump University. By the same token, we could all be said to be playing the board game Trump: The Game. ” . . . . Then there’s his Monopoly-like board game. When Trump and executives from Milton-Bradley introduced Trump: The Game in 1989, the developer surprised everyone by declaring those royalties would go to charity, too. Milton-Bradley took Trump at his word. It also figured it might improve sales, which were weak, if people realized their purchases would not enrich a presumed billionaire but go to charity. Its television ads told potential buyers: ‘Mr. Trump’s proceeds from Trump: The Game will be donated to charity.’ . . . Trump has said he made $808,000 and that the money was donated to his Donald J. Trump Foundation. . . . At the time, I spent a day calling New York and New Jersey charities trying to find any disclosures of gifts made by Trump. . . . But call after call produced nothing. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 17.)
Trump appeared to have won over a majority of voting military veterans and a poll of active-duty service members indicated that most preferred Trump. Trump himself avoided military service during the Vietnam War. “. . . . Donald turned eighteen in 1964, when the death toll in Vietnam was rising fast. He got four student deferments and one medical deferment, after his doctor wrote that he had a bone spur in his foot. Which foot? a journalist asked years later. Trump said he could not recall. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 131-132.)
In the fall of 2015, Trump boycotted a GOP primary campaign debate because Megyn Kelly was to be the on-air host. Trump instead went to an event on the Battleship Iowa museum to what he misrepresented as a major veterans organization. ” . . . . Trump instead went to the Battleship Iowa, now a museum at anchor in Long Beach, California, to deliver what his campaign said would be a major address on national defense. Trump praised the sponsor of the event, Veterans for a Strong America, and told the audience that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of people belonged to the organization. There were evidently two related organizations, both nonprofits, though Trump and his host never made that clear to the audience on the ship or watching on television. One was a charity, the other one of those dark money political groups that have expanded since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, enabling money from undisclosed sources to influence elections. A quick internet check would revealed to the Trump campaign that the IRS had revoked the nonprofit status of Veterans for a Strong America due to their failure to file required disclosure reports. A charity disclosure organization, Guidestar, reported that it had no record of any board of directors, Every indication pointed to Veterans for a Strong America being a one-man enterprise run by a South Dakota lawyer named Joel Arends, whose operation was under investigation for suspected election improprieties in Arizona and Texas. Reporters later learned the organization had thirty dollars in the bank and debts ten times that size. None of this was in line with Trump’s promotion of the group’s immense size, influence, and good works. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 135-136.)
Next, the program highlights how Trump promotes himself and his projects using The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Trump, his daughter Ivanka, his son Donald, Jr., the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization (Donald Calamari) and Trump’s butler Anthony Senecal are major figures in this organization. The main figure in the organization is Joseph Cinque, aka “Joey No Socks” or “The Preppy Don.” ” . . . If those sound like names that might be associated with a figure involved in organized crime, it’s because they are. New York police with a search warrant knocked on the door of Cinque’s Park Avenue South apartment in 1989. Cinque declined to let them in. The police applied a battering ram. Inside the apartment they found a trove of stolen art, including two Marc Chagall prints valued at $40,000. they had been taken in an art gallery heist. Cinque made a deal to plead to a misdemeanor, but prosecutors scrapped the plea bargain after Cinque was seen talking to John Gotti, the ‘dapper don’ who became head of the Gambino crime family by arranging the murder of his predecessor Paul Castellano–one of the secret owners of the company that supplied concrete for many Trump buildings.
“Gotti told Cinque that he would ‘take care of the DA,’ an apparent reference to Anne Heyman, the prosecutor who had offered the plea bargain. . . . Heyman ordered a more thorough investigation of Cinque. She alleged that the investigation showed that Cinque ‘was dealing drugs out of his apartment and fencing stolen art-work.’ Heyman also said that Cinque’s apartment on Central Park South appeared to be a retail outlet for stolen clothing, including Armani suits and silk shirts. In 1990, Cinque pleaded guilty to a felony: receiving stolen property. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 158.)
Another interesting, close associate of Donald Trump was Felix Satter, who changed the spelling of his name, adding an extra “T” to avoid being recognized on internet searches. ” . . . ‘Satter’s’ name appears with just one ‘T’ in a host of places. There’s the deed to his home for example. It is also spelled with only one ‘T’ on New York State court papers from his 1991 felony conviction for stabbing a man in the face with the stem of a margarita glass. The name Sater with one ‘T’ also appears on federal court papers in a $40 million organized crime stock swindle he confessed to in 1998, a scheme that benefited him as well as the Genovese and Gambino crime families. The stock swindle involved fake stock brokerage firms using high-pressure tactics to get naive people to buy worthless shares from Sater and his mob friends. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 162.)
Trump’s close associate Felix was able to escape serious legal retribution by going to work for the CIA. ” . . . . There is every indication that the extraordinarily lenient treatment resulted from Sater playing a get-out-of-jail free card. Shortly before his secret guilty plea, Sater became a freelance operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his fellow stock swindlers, Salvatore Lauria, wrote a book about it. The Scorpion and the Frog is described on its cover as ‘the true story of one man’s fraudulent rise and fall n the Wall Street of the nineties.’ According to Lauria–and the court files that have been unsealed–Sater helped the CIA buy small missiles before they got to terrorists. He also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 165.)
The last text reading concludes with discussion of Trump’s unsavory real estate deals. Luring unwary buyers in with the prestigious Trump brand name, ‘The Donald” left a great many of them high and dry when the truth emerged about what was really going on. In this sense, too, we are ALL investors in the Trump brand name, and likely to receive the same treatment as his unwary real estate customers.
A Baja California (Mexico) project is typical of Trump’s methodology and operations in this regard. ” . . . . A June 2007 newsletter notified buyers that construction was underway. The next month, the Trump Baja News reported, ‘our new and excited homeowners now are part of an elite group of vacation homeowners who own property developed by one of the most respected names in real estate, Donald J. Trump.’ Three months later, in October, when Wall Street crashed under the weight of the toxic mortgages and other Baja real estate projects faltered, the same newsletter carried a message ‘From the desk of Ivanka Trump.’ Ivanka assured the buyers that their investment was sound. ‘Though it may be rue that some of Baja’s developments could slow down, these market conditions simply do not apply to Trump Ocean Resort–or any other Trump development,’ she wrote.
“Two months later, in December 2007, the newsletter advised buyers of newly discovered geological problems afflicting the building site. A few months later, in March 2008, anxious buyers received calls or letters. Construction loans had been approved, would be funded shortly, and work would be underway. This was nine months after buyers had been told in writing that construction had already begun. Still, construction did not proceed.
“All of these promotions, sales pitches, and newsletter updates created the impression that Trump was the builder and the developer, words he used. The buyers later said they bought in because Trump was the developer or builder. That understanding then changed abruptly.
“The worst news arrived two before Christmas 2008. What had been described as a partnership between ‘the Trump Organization, Donald J. Trump,’ and the other people and companies involved was described in a new way. Neither Trump nor the Trump Organization were investment partners in the Trump Ocean Resort. They were not the developers, either. They had merely licensed the use of the Trump name. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 169-170.)
It is gruesomely ironic that the bulk of Trump’s scamming revolves around his real estate empire. It was, of course, the collapse of the real estate market that led to the financial collapse of 2008.
This fourth program in a series excerpting the book “The Making of Donald Trump” by David Cay Johnston begins by examining Trump University, the fraudulent educational institution that was the focal point of several lawsuits recently settled by Donald Trump. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117-128.)
Mr. Emory feels that, in a sense, the case of Trump University is a microcosm for what America will be under a Trump presidency. ” . . . . The testimony above all comes from a 2012 suit, but two other lawsuits claimed that the whole Trump University enterprise was a fraud–a scam in which the desperate and the gullible paid Trump about $40 million for what turned out to be high-pressure salesmanship. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 120–121.)
In a very real sense, Trump’s pitch in a promotional video embodies Trump as a professional, a person and a politician: ” . . . ‘At Trump University, we teach success . . . . That’s what it’s all about–success. It’s going to happen to you. We’re going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific–terrific people, terrific brains, successful. We are going to have the best of the best. These are all people that are handpicked by me.’ . . . . None of those statements were true. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117—118.)
Representative of the operations of this “university” is Trump’s “faculty.” ” . . . . Trump did not even honor his commitment to handpick the faculty. In 2012, when Trump was sued for civil fraud in California, attorney Rachel Jensen read the names of one faculty member after another, displayed photographs of them, and offered video footage of faculty at Trump University ‘live events.’ Trump, who complained that this line of questioning was a waste of time, could not identify a single person. ‘Too many years ago . . . too many years ago . . . it’s ancient history,’ he said. Some of these events had taken place fewer than two years earlier. Again and again and again, Trump testified that he could not remember. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; p. 119.)
An investigation of Trump University in Texas had a revealing political footnote: ” . . . . To the seasoned fraud investigators who compiled the report, the case against Trump seemed ironclad. The investigators concluded with the suggestion that Trump . . . . be named personally in a civil action suit alleging deceptive trade practices. We know all this because John Owens, who retired in 2011 as chief deputy in the Texas attorney general’s consumer protection unit made the internal report public in 2016. The Texas attorney general’s office, Owens’s former employer, responded with a letter citing six laws Owens may have broken in releasing the report and suggesting his law license might be revoked. . . . Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general, took no public action. . . . Abbott has since been elected governor. He endorsed Trump in 2016. . . . In 2013, three years after [assistant Texas attorney general Rick] Berlin failed to persuade Abbott to adopt his recommendation to recover money for Texas consumers, Trump donated $35,000 to Abbott’s campaign for governor. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 122-123.)
The Abbott-Trump relationship mirrors the highly suspicious contribution Trump made to the reelection campaign of Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who dropped the investigation into Trump University in exchange for the “favor.”
As reported during the campaign, Trump’s contribution was made from one of Trump’s charities, which are the focal point of Chapter 16 of Johnston’s book. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 129-134.)
Enjoying the support of many veterans, according to polls, and, also according to polls, active duty military personnel, Trump attempted to use veterans as campaign props by donating to them in violation of regulations governing charitable donations. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 135-136.)
For some weeks, we have been–and will be–reading most of the book into the record, to provide people with a measure against which to evaluate not just “The Donald,” as his first wife Ivana called him, but our society, its institutions and its citizens. We can’t recommend strongly enough that listeners buy this book, read it and use whatever means available to spread the word about it. (We note that neither Mr. Emory nor any of the stations that air this program get money from this book, its publisher or author.)
This third installment of the series commences with a review the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”
The program features a continuation of Johnston’s account of Trump’s “curious” relationship with convicted felon and drug dealer Joey Weichselbaum. “Among the assorted criminals with whom Trump did business over more than three decades, his most mysterious dealings involved a drug trafficker named Joseph Weichselbaum. Trump did unusual favors for the three-time felon, repeatedly putting his lucrative casino license at risk to help a major cocaine and marijuana trafficker for reasons that remain unfathomable. . . .”
During the campaign, Trump targeted disaffected, alienated blue-collar workers, chafing under the effects of globalization and lingering damage from the financial collapse of 2008. “The Donald” also, of course, made expelling illegal immigrants a cornerstone of his campaign. There could be no better balance in which to hang the integrity of President-elect Donald Trump than to examine the chapter Johnson titled “The Polish Brigade.” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 69-76.)
When demolishing the old Bonwit Teller building in New York City to make way for one of his signature projects, Trump not only broke a promise to salvage the valuable art deco piece at the building’s entrance (providing disingenuous responses to criticism about this), but employed illegal Polish immigrants to dismantle the structure. The abuse to which Trump subjected those immigrants is striking and bodes poorly for those elements of “Middle America” who supported him during the election.
The “Polish Brigade” were not given even elementary working tools, nor basic safety equipment such as hard hats. They worked long hours at very low pay under horrible working conditions and were often not paid at all, until they threatened a top Trump assistant, Thomas Macari.
“Instead of hiring an experienced demolition contractor, Trump chose Kaszycki & Sons Contractors, a window washing business owned by a Polish emigre. Upward of two hundred men began demolishing the building in midwinter 1980. The men worked without hard hats. They lacked facemasks, even though asbestos–known to cause incurable cancers–swirled all around them. They didn’t have goggles to protect their eyes from the bits of concrete and steel that sometimes flew through the air like bullets. The men didn’t have power tools either; they brought down the twelve-story building with sledgehammers. . . .
. . . . The demolition workers were not American citizens, but ‘had recently arrived from Poland,’ a federal court later determined. The court also found that ‘they were undocumented and worked ‘off the books.’ No payroll records were kept, no Social Security or other taxes were withheld and they were not paid in accordance with wage laws. They were told they would be paid $4.00 or in some cases $5.00 an hour for working 12-hour shifts seven days a week. In fact, they were paid irregularly and incompletely.’ . . .
. . . . Fed up that their paychecks kept bouncing, some of the workers corralled Thomas Macari, Trump’s personal representative they showed him to the edge of one of the higher floors and asked if he would like them to hang him over the side. The workers, likely hungry, demanded their pay. Otherwise, no work.
When Macari told his boss what had happened, Trump placed a panicked telephone call to Daniel Sullivan–a labor fixer, FBI informant, suspect in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and Trump’s personal negotiator for the Grand Hyatt contract with the hotel workers’ union.
‘Donald told me he was having some difficulties,’ Sullivan later testified, ‘and he admitted to me that–seeking my advice–he had some illegal Polish employees on the job. . . .
. . . .There is no record of any federal, state, or city safety inspector filing a report during the demolition. In a 1990 Trenton restaurant interview. I asked Sullivan how a project of this size could have been erected in the heart of Manhattan without attracting government job safety inspectors. Sullivan just looked at me. When I widened my eyes to make clear that I wanted an explicitly answer, he said, ‘You know why.’ When I persisted, anticipating that Sullivan might specify bribes to inspectors, he said that unions and concrete suppliers were not the only areas where Trump’s lawyer, Roy Cohn, had influence. . . . ” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 70-72.)
The text excerpts conclude with a reading of most of chapter 10 of Johnston’s book, covering how Trump’s estimates of his own net worth varied according to his mood at the time of the inquiry. This did not stop him from suing journalist Tim O’Brien for allegedly mis-reporting Trump’s worth. (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 77-83.)
We will be analyzing David Cay Johnston’s book about Donald Trump in weeks to come. WikiLeaks played a decisive role on behalf of the Trumpenkampfverbande, manifesting what we have called “Technocratic Fascism”: “. . . . Such technocratic beliefs are widespread in our world today, especially in the enclaves of digital enthusiasts, whether or not they are part of the giant corporate-digital leviathan. Hackers (“civic,” “ethical,” “white” and “black” hat alike), hacktivists, WikiLeaks fans [and Julian Assange et al–D. E.], Anonymous “members,” even Edward Snowden himself walk hand-in-hand with Facebook and Google in telling us that coders don’t just have good things to contribute to the political world, but that the political world is theirs to do with what they want, and the rest of us should stay out of it: the political world is broken, they appear to think (rightly, at least in part), and the solution to that, they think (wrongly, at least for the most part), is for programmers to take political matters into their own hands. . .”
The title of the program derives from “the Himmler Kreis”–Himmler’s circle of friends, the industrialists who financed the day-to-day workings of the Nazi SS and, in turn, received slave labor from Himmler’s inventory of incarcerated workers. We borrow on the Third Reich term to characterize the Friends of Trump–the Trumpen Kreis.
Beginning with review of UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, we note the “Brexit” architect’s support for Donald Trump. In addition, we note that Farage has a German wife. Under other circumstances this would be unremarkable. In the context of covert operations/clandestine politics, a romantic/sexual partner/spouse might also be a case officer and/or paymaster.
We bring this up because the “Brexit” engineered by Farage and company removed a major obstacle to the creation of a German-dominated EU military force. ” . . . . With Britain, which had always adamantly opposed an integrated EU military policy, leaving the EU, Berlin sees an opportunity for reviving its efforts at restructuring the EU’s military and mobilizing as many member countries as possible for the EU’s future wars. . . .”
Interestingly, and perhaps significantly, Donald Trump has drawn support from Hindu nationalists of the Modi stripe. There is an important element of networking here: Trump campaign manager and “Alt-right” media figure Stephen K. Bannon is a supporter of Modi’s movement, as well as that of Nigel Farage. ” . . . . Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called ‘the Reagan of India.’ It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers. . . .”
Trump has also received the support of the mercurial, bombastic Russian fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose political career was launched with the assistance of Gerhard Frey, a prominent German Nazi. Trump and Zhirinovsky have overlapping political styles: ” . . . . His combative style, reminiscent of Trump’s, ensures him plenty of television air time and millions of votes in Russian elections, often from the kind of blue-collar workers who are the bedrock of the U.S. Republican candidate’s support. Zhirinovsky once proposed blocking off mostly Muslim southern Russia with a barbed wire fence, echoing Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Zhirinovsky, who said he met Trump in New York in 2002, revels in his similarities with the American businessman – they are the same age, favor coarse, sometimes misogynistic language and boast about putting their own country first. . . .”
In FTR #921, we noted that Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed and read it to gain tips on the use of rhetoric. He appears to have borrowed a play from Der Fuhrer’s rhetorical playbook when addressing the Values Voters Summit: ” . . . He regaled the crowd of Christian voters in his usual bombastic way, but near the end of the speech, Trump seemed to play into the hands of his accusers who claim that not only does Trump remind people of infamous dictators like Italian fascist Benito Mussolini and German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler with his jingoism, blatant nativist nationalism, and over-the-top fact-twisting scapegoating, but he sounds like them as well. He paraphrased the infamous Nazi Party slogan, ‘Ein volk, ein reich, ein Fuhrer!’ . . . If one saw the speech, or watches it in replay, Trump begins raising his voice on the first use of the word ‘one,’emphasizing each part of the verbal triptych. Not only does he invoke the traditional lines from the Pledge of Allegiance, he progresses from, just as the Nazi Party slogan does, ‘one people’ (‘ein volk’) to ‘under one god’ (an implied unified Christian nation or ‘ein reich’) to ‘one flag’ (‘ein Fuhrer,’ the symbol of a unified nation). . . .”
Trump is also borrowing a rhetorical page from the Nazi playbook in his attacks on the press: ” . . . . On Saturday night, a new and foreign accusation came to the fore: ‘Lügenpresse!’ The term, which means ‘lying press’ in German, has a history dating back to the mid-1800s and was used by the Nazis to discredit the media. In recent years, it has been revived by German far-right anti-immigrant groups. And on Saturday, it made an appearance at a Trump rally in Cleveland, Ohio. . . Breitbart News [edited by Trump campaign manager Stephen K. Bannon] reported favorably on the term in an interview earlier this year with the leader of the German far-right group PEGIDA, writing, ‘It will come as no surprise to many that the mainstream media would lash out against a word that highlights their own, intentional failings. But [Lutz] Bachmann’s PEGIDA has popularized the term to the point where it has become a pillar — even a rallying cry — for the nationalist, populist movements across the continent.’ . . . Meanwhile, the hatred toward the press among the larger population of Trump supporters grows increasingly pronounced nearly every day. In these final weeks of the campaign, at nearly every rally, Trump riles up his audience against the press as reporters sit in the media pen, easy targets for vitriol. Reporters disembarking the press bus at Trump’s rally in Naples, Florida, on Sunday, the day after the ‘lügenpresse’ incident, were immediately greeted by boos and shouts of ‘Tell the truth!’ . . . ”
Concluding the broadcast, we note that David French, a conservative veteran of the Iraq war, has been viciously trolled by Trump’s Alt-Right followers because of his adoption of an Ethiopian orphan: ” . . . . In particular, the alt-right made a point to attack French’s youngest daughter, whom his family had adopted from Ethiopia. You see, alt-righters view bringing in children of color to America as the ultimate betrayal of the white race, which is why they had particular scorn for French. ‘I saw images of my daughter’s face in gas chambers, with a smiling Trump in a Nazi uniform preparing to press a button and kill her,’ he writes. ‘I saw her face photo-shopped into images of slaves. She was called a ‘niglet’ and a ‘dindu.’ The alt-right unleashed on my wife, Nancy, claiming that she had slept with black men while I was deployed to Iraq, and that I loved to watch while she had sex with ‘black bucks.’ People sent her pornographic images of black men having sex with white women, with someone photoshopped to look like me, watching. . . There is nothing at all rewarding, enjoyable, or satisfying about seeing man after man after man brag in graphic terms that he has slept with your wife. It’s unsettling to have a phone call interrupted, watch images of murder flicker across your screen, and read threatening e-mails. It’s sobering to take your teenage kids out to the farm to make sure they’re both proficient with handguns in case an intruder comes when they’re home alone.”
Program Highlights Include: Review of Trump’s links with the Steuben Society; review of the Steuben Society’s position in the Nazi underground in this country, before, during and after World War II; review of the political resume of Gerhard Frey; discussion of Blacks for Trump supporter “Michael the Black man” and his background in a murderous, anti-Semitic cult.