Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Steve Bannon' is associated with 14 posts.

The Pierre Omidyar School of Journalism

We have noted journalistic icon Glenn Greenwald’s history as a Nazi fellow-traveler. We have also highlighted Greenwald’s journalistic financial angel Pierre Omidyar and his financing of the rise of both Narendra Modi’s Hindutva fascist organization in India and the Ukrainian OUN/B successor fascists in Ukraine. The assassination of Modi critic Gauri Lankesh–the latest in a string of unsolved murders of critics of Modi, his BJP and the Hindutva fascist RSS (for which the BJP is a political cat’s paw)–underscores the grotesque nature of Omidyar’s undeserved status as an icon of journalism and investigative reporting. In Ukraine, the OUN/B successor organizations whose elevation was assisted by Omidyar, have also violently suppressed those who would “speak truth to power.” 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.


FTR #951 Fascism: 2017 World Tour

The events overtaking the United States are echoes of events occurring worldwide. This “2017 World Tour” examines aspects of ascendant global fascism, including historical and ideological trends stretching back to the World War II period.

Yet another of the fascist/Nazi/racist influences on Steve Bannon is French writer Charles Maurras. A doctrinaire anti-Semite, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for collaborating with the Third Reich.

Setting Maurras’s activities in an historical context, we recap an excerpt from FTR #372 (August of 2002) detailing the French Fifth Column that subverted the French military resistance to the armies of the Third Reich. Maurras’s L’Action Francaise was among the journals influencing French fascists, who saw the German invasion as a vehicle for eliminating democracy and, at the same time, blaming the defeat on government of Leon Blum, whose murder was advocated by Maurras.

In Italy, Bepe Grillo’s Five Star Movement is leading in the polls, and may come out ahead in the 2018 elections. Observers have seen the party as an heir to Mussolini’s blackshirts. We note, in passing, that the populist idealism officially endorsed by Five Star is similar to aspects of many left-populist agendas, while incorporating features of contemporary fascist politics.

Traveling northward, we observe the resuscitation of Slovakian fascism and the celebration of Nazi quisling Josef Tiso’s World War II collaborationist government. Social media/Facebook are a key element of the success of the “neo-Tiso’s.”

An American/Swedish axis, of sorts, manifests as a collaborative effort between Trumpenkampfverbande supporter Richard B. Spencer and Daniel Friberg, a key figure in the Swedish fascist milieu of Carl Lundstrom.

Traveling to Asia, we note the re-emergence of Japanese fascism, instituted in the Abe government by organizations like Nippon Kaigi. In addition to instituting revisionist teaching in the Japanese educational system, the Abe government is curtailing that country’s free press.

Several of Abe’s cabinet ministers are supportive of Hitler’s electoral strategy, seeing it as a blueprint for the implementation of Japanese reaction–among them Tomomi Inada, the new defense minister.

The program concludes with a look at Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist/fascist government and it selection of a hard-line anti-Muslim bigot to govern the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Program Highlights Include: review of Modi’s BJP as a cat’s paw for the Hindu nationalist/fascist RSS; discussion of the economic links between German and French industrialists that underlay the development of the French Fifth Column inspired, in part, by Charles Maurras; review of the links between Carl Lundstrom, WikiLeaks and Assange aide Joran Jermas, a doctrinaire Holocaust denier; review of the “Nazified AI” at the heart of Cambridge Analytica’s data manipulation engine.


FTR #950 Shock to the System: Further Reflections on the Breitbart Axis

This broadcast updates coverage of key aspects of the Nazi/fascist, oops, we mean “alt-right,” milieu that moved into government courtesy of the Trumpenkampfverbande and Breitbart.

Further developing the terrifying reality of what Artificial Intellligence (AI) can accomplish for the dedicated fascist, oops, we mean “alt-right” adherent, we note an important address given at SXSW. Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford gave a speech 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.’ . . . .”

Turning next to the political philosophy of Steve Bannon and the seminal influences on its development, we refresh our acquaintance with Curtis Yarvin, aka “Mencius Moldbug,” a herald of the Dark Enlightment.

Curtis Yarvin has actually opened a backchannel advisory connection to the White House.

Note that the Bannon influences all seem to agree that what is needed is “a shock to the system.” We may very well experience just that. ” . . . . . . . . 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. . . . ”

Fascist philosopher Julius Evola is another of the key influences on Bannon. Evola was an early occult fascist, with strong connections with Mussolini’s Italy. Eventually Evola established strong, lasting connections with the Nazi SS, both operationally and ideologically.

He is another advocate of the “shock to the system”/”blow it up” approach to the status quo. ” . . . Changing the system, Evola argued, was ‘not a question of contesting and polemicizing, but of blowing everything up.’ . . . .”

A revealing influence on Bannon is a French novel The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail. “. . . . The Camp of the Saints — which draws its title from Revelation 20:9 — is nothing less than a call to arms for the white Christian West, to revive the spirit of the Crusades and steel itself for bloody conflict against the poor black and brown world without and the traitors within. The novel’s last line links past humiliations tightly to its own grim parable about modern migration. ‘The Fall of Constantinople,’ Raspail’s unnamed narrator says, ‘is a personal misfortune that happened to all of us only last week.’ . . . . ”

In FTR #947, we highlighted Sebastian Gorka, a Breitbart alumnus and Hungarian fascist. Gorka is now the Trump administration’s point man working against Islamic terrorism. His view (and Bannon’s) that we are engaged in an historic clash of civilizations. That is precisely the point of view expressed by ISIS (and The Camp of the Saints) and will play into their hands.

That, in turn, will help propel the U.S. into more endless wars on the periphery of our empire, ultimately sapping the nation’s vitality and leading to the fall of the U.S. in a manner delineated in FTR #944.

After reviewing Gorka’s anti-Semitism, his profound connections to three generations of Hungarian fascism dating to the pre-World War II period and confirmation of his allegiance to the Order of Vitezi Rend, we highlight the fact that Gorka is part of the Strategic Initiatives Group, something of a parallel NSC formed by Steve Bannon. It reminds us of Hitler’s creation of a parallel general staff, born of a mistrust of his own senior officers and a desire to have a trusted cadre to obey his orders.

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

The conclusion of the program foreshadows discussion in our next broadcast, which will critically examine Bernie Sanders campaign and disturbing indications that his candidacy may have been generated by the Underground Reich as a vehicle for infiltrating and destabilizing the Democratic Party.

In FTR #941, we highlighted the push by Bernie Sanders and his prominent backer Tulsi Gabbard to have Keith Ellison, an African-American Muslim to be head of the DNC. He was not elected head of the DNC, but is now deputy chair of the DNC, the position formerly held by Gabbard.

Ellison is networked with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nation of Islam as well. ” . . . . Indeed, the June 21, 1998 article states that at that time – that is, three years after Farrakhan’s march – Ellison was a member of the Nation of Islam: ‘Ellison has been active in the community, but not within the established DFL party [the Democratic Party in Minnesota]. A member of the Nation of Islam, Ellison was the coordinator of the Minnesota participants in the Million Man March and the subsequent community group that formed.’ . . . .”

In a point of discussion that will be conducted at greater length in our next program, we conclude by noting that another of Keith Ellison’s supporters to head the DNC was Faisal Gill, a Grover Norquist protege whom we covered in FTR #467.

Program Highlights Include: review of Gorka’s formation of a fascist party in Hungary in the last decade; review of Gorka’s doctrinaire anti-Semitism; review of Gorka’s networking with members of the Jobbik Party in Hungary; review of Gorka’s supportive attitude toward the Arrow Cross Party, which allied with Hitler; review of Jobbik’s affinity with Julius Evola; review of Karl Rove’s and Grover Norquist’s seminal support for the creation of a Muslim Brotherhood branch of the GOP.


FTR #949 Walkin’ the Snake with Breitbart, Part 2

The title of the program refers to the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. The back cover of that book sums up the essence of the tome: ” . . . It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of the tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’ . . .”

The “opinion-forming media” in 2017 has crystallized into a frighteningly dominant entity, the Breitbartian engine of Steven Bannon, Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica and the latter’s parent company SCL. An article from The Guardian sets forth this terrifying development.

Cambridge Analytica, and its parent company SCL, specialize in using AI and Big Data psychometric analysis on hundreds of millions of Americans in order to model individual behavior. SCL develops strategies to use that information, and manipulate search engine results to change public opinion (the Trump campaign was apparently very big into AI and Big Data during the campaign).

Individual social media users receive messages crafted to influence them, generated by the (in effect) Nazi AI at the core of this media engine, using Big Data to target the individual user!

As the article notes, not only are Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using their propaganda techniques to shape US public opinion in a fascist direction, but they are achieving this by utilizing their propaganda machine to characterize all news outlets to the left of Brietbart as “fake news” that can’t be trusted.

In short, the secretive far-right billionaire (Robert Mercer), joined at the hip with Steve Bannon, is running multiple firms specializing in mass psychometric profiling based on data collected from Facebook and other social media. Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using Nazified AI and Big Data to develop mass propaganda campaigns to turn the public against everything that isn’t Brietbartian by convincing the public that all non-Brietbartian media outlets are conspiring to lie to the public.

This is the ultimate Serpent’s Walk scenario–a Nazified Artificial Intelligence drawing on Big Data gleaned from the world’s internet and social media operations to shape public opinion, target individual users, shape search engine results and even feedback to Trump to craft his press conferences!

We note that SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, has been deeply involved with “psyops” in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, Cambridge Analytica, their Big Data and AI components, Mercer money and Bannon political savvy are applying that to contemporary society.

At the end of the program we note that Bannon had turned Breitbart toward supporting Narendra Modi’s BJP Party in India.

Program Highlights Include:

a) Cambridge Analytica’s parent corporation SCL, deeply involved with “psyops” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ” . . . But there was another reason why I recognised Robert Mercer’s name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in ‘election management strategies’ and ‘messaging and information operations’, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as ‘psyops’ – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.) . . .”

b) The use of millions of “bots” to manipulate public opinion: ” . . . .’It does seem possible. And it does worry me. There are quite a few pieces of research that show if you repeat something often enough, people start involuntarily to believe it. And that could be leveraged, or weaponised for propaganda. We know there are thousands of automated bots out there that are trying to do just that.’ . . .”

c) The use of Artificial Intelligence: ” . . . There’s nothing accidental about Trump’s behaviour, Andy Wigmore tells me. ‘That press conference. It was absolutely brilliant. I could see exactly what he was doing. There’s feedback going on constantly. That’s what you can do with artificial intelligence. You can measure every reaction to every word. He has a word room, where you fix key words. We did it. So with immigration, there are actually key words within that subject matter which people are concerned about. So when you are going to make a speech, it’s all about how can you use these trending words.’ . . .”

d) The use of bio-psycho-social profiling: ” . . . Bio-psycho-social profiling, I read later, is one offensive in what is called ‘cognitive warfare’. Though there are many others: ‘recoding the mass consciousness to turn patriotism into collaborationism,’ explains a Nato briefing document on countering Russian disinformation written by an SCL employee. ‘Time-sensitive professional use of media to propagate narratives,’ says one US state department white paper. ‘Of particular importance to psyop personnel may be publicly and commercially available data from social media platforms.’ . . .”

e) The use and/or creation of a cognitive casualty: ” . . . . Yet another details the power of a ‘cognitive casualty’ – a ‘moral shock’ that ‘has a disabling effect on empathy and higher processes such as moral reasoning and critical thinking’. Something like immigration, perhaps. Or ‘fake news’. Or as it has now become: ‘FAKE news!!!!’ . . . ”

f) All of this adds up to a “cyber Serpent’s Walk.” ” . . . . How do you change the way a nation thinks? You could start by creating a mainstream media to replace the existing one with a site such as Breitbart. [Serpent’s Walk scenario with Breitbart becoming “the opinion forming media”!–D.E.] You could set up other websites that displace mainstream sources of news and information with your own definitions of concepts like “liberal media bias”, like CNSnews.com. And you could give the rump mainstream media, papers like the ‘failing New York Times!’ what it wants: stories. Because the third prong of Mercer and Bannon’s media empire is the Government Accountability Institute. . . .”


FTR #948 Walkin’ the Snake with Breitbart: The Gathering Sturm

The title of the program refers to the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. The back cover of that book sums up the essence of the tome: ” . . . It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’ . . .”

The “opinion-forming media” in 2017 has crystallized into a frighteningly dominant entity, the Breitbartian engine of Steven Bannon, Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica and the latter’s parent company SCL. An article from The Guardian sets forth this terrifying development. (Note that, due to the limitations of time, we were not able to read the entire story. The article will be the centerpiece of a follow-up program.)

Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL, specialize in using AI and Big Data psychometric analysis on hundreds of millions of Americans in order to model individual behavior. SCL develops strategies to use that information, and manipulate search engine results to change public opinion (the Trump campaign was apparently very big into AI and Big Data during the campaign).

Individual social media users receive messages crafted to influence them, generated by the Nazi AI at the core of this media engine, using Big Data to target the individual user!

As the article notes, not only are Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using their propaganda techniques to shape US public opinion in a fascist direction, but they are achieving this by utilizing their propaganda machine to characterize all news outlets to the left of Brietbart as “fake news” that can’t be trusted.

In short, the secretive far-right billionaire (Robert Mercer), joined at the hip with Steve Bannon, is running multiple firms specializing in mass psychometric profiling based on data collected from Facebook and other social media. Mercer/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/SCL are using Nazified AI and Big Data to develop mass propaganda campaigns to turn the public against everything that isn’t Brietbartian by convincing the public that all non-Brietbartian media outlets are conspiring to lie to the public.

This is the ultimate Serpent’s Walk scenario–a Nazi Artificial Intelligence drawing on Big Data gleaned from the world’s internet and social media operations to shape public opinion, target individual users, shape search engine results and even feedback to Trump while he is giving press conferences!

We begin the program with a “sign of the times.” Something of a barometer for the present political climate is New York Times columnist Paul Krugman’s recognition that: “Are you angry about the white nationalist takeover of the U.S. government? . . . Does anyone doubt it? And given this reality, it’s completely reasonable to worry that America will go the route of other nations like Hungary, which remain democracies on paper but have become authoritarian states in practice. . . .”

After discussing Breitbart alumnus Sebastian Gorka’s role as the point man for the Trump administration’s counter-jihadist strategy, the program further develops his roots in Hungarian fascism, past and present. ” . . . . But an investigation by the Forward into Gorka’s activities from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past chosen to work with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures. Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures. . . . In the United States, Gorka, who was appointed deputy assistant to the president on January 20, is known as a television commentator, a professor and an “alt-right” writer who describes himself as a counterterrorism expert. A close associate of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, Gorka is now part of Bannon’s key in-house White House think tank, the Strategic Initiatives Group. The newly formed group consists of figures close to Trump and is seen by some as a rival to the National Security Council in formulating policies for the president.”

Turning to the well-publicized issue of what is portrayed as “anti-illegal” immigrant policy, we note DHS Secretary John Kelly’s recruitment of local law enforcement officers as federal immigration enforcers, a significant step from a standpoint of the constitution.

The Trumpenkampfverbande is moving to publicize crimes actually, or allegedly, committed by illegal immigrants, a tactic that was used by Hitler to maximize anti-Semitism in Germany. When the German populace proved insufficiently responsive to Nazi anti-Semitic policy, crimes committed by Jews became a high-profile propaganda feature of the Reich. “ . . . . In The Nazi Conscience, Duke historian Claudia Koonz notes that the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a feature called ‘Letter Box,’ which published readers’ accounts of Jewish crimes. When the Nazis took power, the German state began doing something similar. Frustrated by the failure of most Germans to participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933, Adolf Hitler’s government began publicizing Jewish crime statistics as a way of stoking anti-Semitism. In Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, the historian Saul Friedlander notes that, until 1938, Hitler’s Ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry’s press office could publicize it. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:The Trump administration’s apparent intent to stop monitoring the activities of domestic fascist and white supremacist hate groups; The League of the South’s formation of a paramilitary cadre, designed with an eye to being deputized as enforcers by federal, state or local governments; The Lithuanian celebration of Third Reich collaborator Kazys Skirpa, who was portrayed as Pepe the Frog, an American “Alt-Right” meme; The appointment of Chrystia Freeland as Canadian Foreign Minister–her grandfather was a major Ukrainian fascist and Nazi collaborator–this appears to have minted her anti-Russian dogma.


“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 #947 Evola on Our Minds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Program Highlights Include: Sebastian Gorka’s manifestation of the heraldry of the order of Vitezi Rend, closely associated with Nazi Germany’s Hungarian allies;
Adbusters magazine’s publicizing of Alexander Dugin–we review the fact that Adbusters appears to have played a key role in jumpstarting the “Occupy” movement.


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.


FTR #931 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 10: Echoes From the Past, Visions of the Future

With the election over, the Trumpenkampfverbande is now positioned to solidify its primary function—the successful transition of the Underground Reich from a clandestine institutional element into a broad-based, above-ground mass movement.

Closing his campaign with an overtly anti-Semitic tweet: “ . . . . From a technical and thematic perspective it’s a well made ad. It’s also packed with anti-Semitic dog whistles, anti-Semitic tropes and anti-Semitic vocabulary. I’m not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whistles. The four readily identifiable American bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO). . . . This is an anti-Semitic ad every bit as much as the infamous Jesse Helms ‘white hands’ ad or the Willie Horton ad were anti-African-American racist ads. Which is to say, really anti-Semitic. You could even argue that it’s more so, given certain linguistic similarities with anti-Semitic propaganda from the 1930s. But it’s not a contest. This is an ad intended to appeal to anti-Semites and spread anti-Semitic ideas. . .”
Again, Trump has formally legitimized Nazi/white supremacist elements: “. . . .’Trump has shown that our message is healthy, normal and organic — and millions of Americans agree with us,’ said Matthew M. Heimbach, a co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a white nationalist group that claims to support the interests of working-class whites. It also advocates the separation of the races. . . . ‘For racists in this country, this campaign has been a complete affirmation of their fears, worries, dreams and hopes,’ said Ryan Lenz, the editor of the Hatewatch blog at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such groups from its headquarters in Montgomery, Ala. ‘Most things they believe have been legitimized, or have been given the stamp of approval, by mainstream American politics to the point now where it’s no longer shameful to be a racist.’ . . . .”

Trump’s campaign will include the overt fascists who have supported him. ” . . . . ‘I have been very surprised that we have not seen attractive, well-spoken, racially aware candidates running for local office,’ Jared Taylor, head of the white nationalist American Renaissance publication and annual conference, told TPM in a Wednesday phone call. ‘I think this will be inevitable, and I think that Trump will have encouraged this. That our people will run for school board, city council, mayor, all that I anticipate certainly.’ . . . .”

Trump’s “alt-right” campaign manager Stephen K. Bannon is being considered for White House Chief of Staff: “President-elect Donald Trump is strongly considering naming his campaign CEO Steve Bannon to serve as his White House chief of staff, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Thursday. . . .”

In FTR #906, we noted the highly partisan position taken by FBI director James Comey in the campaign, as well as noting the media prominence given to the spurious book “Clinton Cash,” authored by Koch brothers’ protégé Peter Schweizer (aided by Breitbart editor and Trump campaign manager Stephen K. Bannon.)

It turns out that Comey’s (probably) decisive last-minute intervention in the campaign may well have been precipitated by a “Trumpenkampfverbande” faction within the FBI, who were taking their cues from “Clinton Cash!”

Program Highlights Include: The Trumpenkampfverbande’s compilation of an enemies list, a la Richard Nixon; the stunning acquittal of the Bundy Brigade, after their illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife refuge; reflections on the implications of that acquittal against the background of the massive Trump faction within the FBI; Alfa Bank consultant Richard Burt’s role as a foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump; Burt’s position as Regan’s ambassador to Germany; Burt’s lobbying on behalf of a natural gas pipeline financed, in part, by major German corporations; review of the links between Alfa Bank and the Trump organization; review of the links between Alfa Group and Marc Rich’s operations; review of James Comey’s investigations of Marc Rich; speculation about the possible role of the Alfa/Trump and Alfa/Rich links in Comey’s behavior during the campaign.