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FTR#1299 Interview with Lucy Komisar About “Navalny”

A wel­come return to our air­waves of Lucy Komis­ar fea­tures her char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly inci­sive analy­sis of an Oscar-win­ning doc­u­men­tary about Alex­ei Naval­ny, the West­’s “Baskin Rob­bins Fla­vor of the Month” in the Russ­ian polit­i­cal domain.

Sup­port­ed by char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly selec­tive cov­er­age by West­ern jour­nal­is­tic and polit­i­cal ele­ments, Alex­ei Naval­ny has demon­strat­ed pro­to-fascis­tic ten­den­cies and is more of a pro­pa­gan­da phe­nom­e­non than a real polit­i­cal leader.

In this pro­gram, we present Lucy’s analy­sis of the Naval­ny doc­u­men­tary, includ­ing her thoughts con­cern­ing pos­si­ble intel­li­gence con­nec­tions to the doc­u­men­tary’s pro­duc­tion and a qua­si-McCarthyite response to her prob­ing ques­tions.

The (Schedule F) Purge: Trump’s Big Revenge Plan, Brought to You By the Council for National Policy

It’s not a secret plot to purge the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment of its career staffers and replace them with par­ti­san hacks. It was a secret when then-Pres­i­dent Trump set the plot in motion 13 days before the 2020 elec­tion with an exec­u­tive order. The “Sched­ule F” exec­u­tive order plot — cen­tered around a bureau­crat­ic loop­hole dis­cov­ered in Jan­u­ary of 2019 by an obscure Trump admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial — opened the flood­gates. And while the mass fir­ings nev­er actu­al­ly took place in the final months of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, those flood­gates remain open along with the plot. That’s the explo­sive rev­e­la­tion described in a pair of arti­cles put out by Axios back in July: The Sched­ule F plot con­tin­ues. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion isn’t wast­ing any time next time. A mass purge of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment will be one of the first moves of a sec­ond Trump admin­is­tra­tion. And now that Don­ald Trump has thrown his hat in the ring one more time the prospect of see­ing this plot put into effect is very real. But as we’re going to see, that ongo­ing plot is real whether or not Trump gets the nom­i­na­tion and ‘wins’ the race. Because the ongo­ing Sched­ule F effort isn’t just a MAGA-land plot. The pow­er­ful Coun­cil for Nation­al Pol­i­cy (CNP) is deeply invest­ed in it, with the CNP’s Con­ser­v­a­tive Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (CPI) play­ing a lead­ing and grow­ing role. Sched­ule F is the plan. Or at least the start of the plan. As we’re also going to see, there’s a larg­er plot being devel­oped for what to do after the Sched­ule F purge and all the obsta­cles are out of the way. A larg­er plot for that appears to be inspired by none oth­er than Cur­tis “Men­cius Mold­bug” Yarvin, whose ideas for a post-demo­c­ra­t­ic Amer­i­ca are only grow­ing in elite con­ser­v­a­tive cir­cles. That’s the plot we’re going to be cov­er­ing in this post. The plans for Sched­ule F and beyond. Plans and tens of mil­lions of dol­lars and army of CNP-activists work­ing to make them a real­i­ty.

Oligarchs for Theocracy: Project Blitz, the Council for National Policy, and God’s Insurrection

“One nation under God.” It’s a famil­iar phrase for mod­ern Amer­i­cans. But how about the phrase “One nation under God, and one reli­gion under God”? That was the call recent­ly made by Michael Fly­nn. As we’re going to see, Fly­nn was­n’t just speak­ing for fel­low theocrats when he called for an end to the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state. He was voic­ing the views of some of the most pow­er­ful lob­bies oper­at­ing in DC. Groups like the Coun­cil for Nation­al Pol­i­cy (CNP) that rep­re­sent the merg­er of cor­po­rate (Koch) and theo­crat­ic inter­ests. A net­work that for all prac­ti­cal pur­pos­es is the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s oli­garch estab­lish­ment, push­ing a theo­crat­ic agen­da with a goal of not just con­fer­ring spe­cial rights for Chris­tians but effec­tive­ly end­ing democ­ra­cy itself. Because as we’re also going to see, just as you can’t sep­a­rate the GOP estab­lish­ment from the theo­crat­ic CNP, you can’t sep­a­rate the GOP’s par­ty-wide push to over­turn the 2020 elec­tion results from the CNP either. The death of rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­ra­cy in the US is very much a ‘God’-ordained project.

FTR #692 Women in the Klan (“Palin by Comparison,” Part 2)

Dis­cuss­es the role of women in the Ku Klux Klan. Women are a large, though unrec­og­nized part of the white suprema­cist move­ment today.

“These Are Dictator Moves”: Is Trump Going Coup Coup?

Even rel­a­tive­ly staid polit­i­cal and nation­al secu­ri­ty insid­ers, as well as media out­lets are open­ly express­ing fear after a series of post-elec­tion shuf­fling by Trump at the Pen­ta­gon. ” . . . . The flur­ry of depar­tures appar­ent­ly sent shock­waves through the Depart­ment of Defense. A defense offi­cial told CNN that the sit­u­a­tion was ‘unset­tling,’ adding that ‘these are dic­ta­tor moves.’ The Asso­ci­at­ed Press wrote that ‘unease was pal­pa­ble inside’ the Pen­ta­gon Tues­day. . . .”

FTR #1104 Fascism, 2019 World Tour, Part 14: Lithium Coup in Bolivia, Part 1 and FTR #1105 Fascism, 2019 World Tour, Part 15: Lithium Coup in Bolivia, Part 2

These pro­grams high­light fea­tures of an appar­ent coup d’e­tat in Bolivia, empha­siz­ing the indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions fig­ur­ing in the coup itself, as well as the under­ly­ing dynam­ic of the devel­op­ment of Bolivi­a’s enor­mous lithi­um reserves. Cen­tral to the dis­cus­sion is the fact that lithi­um is essen­tial for the devel­op­ment of elec­tric car bat­ter­ies and that tech­nol­o­gy is impor­tant to any suc­cess­ful “Green­ing” of the glob­al econ­o­my.

Fas­cists from Latin Amer­i­ca and Europe net­worked with transna­tion­al cor­po­rate ele­ments and some U.S. intel­li­gence cut-outs to oust Evo Morales and his gov­ern­ment.

Although Morales had vio­lat­ed con­sti­tu­tion­al norms on term lim­its in order to extend his gov­er­nance, his polit­i­cal agen­da had great­ly ben­e­fit­ed Bolivi­a’s poor and its his­tor­i­cal­ly oppressed indige­nous pop­u­la­tion, in par­tic­u­lar. The coun­try’s min­er­al wealth has been exploit­ed by for­eign com­pa­nies and select mem­bers of the Boli­vian elite to the detri­ment of much of the pop­u­la­tion. Even the con­ser­v­a­tive “Finan­cial Times” has not­ed that Morales restruc­tur­ing of the Boli­vian economy–mineral extrac­tion, in particular–has sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved the coun­try’s econ­o­my and reduced pover­ty.

This ele­ment of dis­cus­sion involves many sub­jects cov­ered at length over the decades and fea­tured in the archives:

1.–Material about Klaus Bar­bie and the Euro­pean fas­cists in his “Fiances of Death” (or “Bride­grooms of Death”) mer­ce­nar­ies can be found in, among oth­er pro­grams, AFA #‘s 19 and 27.
2.–The Vat­i­can’s rela­tion­ship to fas­cism, includ­ing Opus Dei and the Ustachi in Croa­t­ia, is high­light­ed in, among oth­er pro­grams AFA #17.
3.–Information about the re-emer­gence of the Ustachi can be found in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 49, 154, 766, 901.

Key indi­vid­ual and insti­tu­tion­al play­ers in the devel­op­ment of, pre­lude to, and exe­cu­tion of the Boli­vian coup include:

1.–Luis Fer­nan­do Cama­cho, a wealthy Boli­vian described in the Pana­ma Papers, Cama­cho is: ” . . . . an ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive Chris­t­ian fun­da­men­tal­ist groomed by a fas­cist para­mil­i­tary noto­ri­ous for its racist vio­lence, with a base in Bolivia’s wealthy sep­a­ratist region of San­ta Cruz. . . .”
2.–He is heir to a tra­di­tion of wealth, the nation’s nat­ur­al gas busi­ness, in par­tic­u­lar: : ” . . . . Cama­cho also hails from a fam­i­ly of cor­po­rate elites who have long prof­it­ed from Bolivia’s plen­ti­ful nat­ur­al gas reserves. And his fam­i­ly lost part of its wealth when Morales nation­al­ized the nation’s resources, in order to fund his vast social pro­grams — which cut pover­ty by 42 per­cent and extreme pover­ty by 60 per­cent. . . .”
3.–Prior to the coup, Cama­cho: ” . . . . met with lead­ers from right-wing gov­ern­ments in the region to dis­cuss their plans to desta­bi­lize Morales. Two months before the putsch, he tweet­ed grat­i­tude: ‘Thank you Colom­bia! Thank you Venezuela!’ he exclaimed, tip­ping his hat to Juan Guaido’s coup oper­a­tion. He also rec­og­nized the far-right gov­ern­ment of Jair Bol­sonaro, declar­ing, “Thank you Brazil!’ . . .”
4.–A mar­gin­al fig­ure with lit­tle pub­lic grav­i­tas, includ­ing on social media, Cama­cho was mov­ing to neu­tral­ize the Morales gov­ern­ment before the coup itself. His polit­i­cal pres­ence and base of sup­port is a Chris­t­ian fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion: ” . . . . Luis Fer­nan­do Cama­cho was groomed by the Unión Juve­nil Cruceñista, or San­ta Cruz Youth Union (UJC), a fas­cist para­mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tion that has been linked to assas­si­na­tion plots against Morales. The group is noto­ri­ous for assault­ing left­ists, Indige­nous peas­ants, and jour­nal­ists, all while espous­ing a deeply racist, homo­pho­bic ide­ol­o­gy. . . .”
5.–The UJC: ” . . . . The UJC is the Boli­vian equiv­a­lent of Spain’s Falange, India’s Hin­du suprema­cist RSS, and Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov bat­tal­ion. Its sym­bol is a green cross that bears strong sim­i­lar­i­ties to logos of fas­cist move­ments across the West. And its mem­bers are known to launch into Nazi-style sieg heil salutes. . . . Even the US embassy in Bolivia has described UJC mem­bers as ‘racist’ and ‘mil­i­tant,’ not­ing that they ‘have fre­quent­ly attacked pro-MAS/­gov­ern­ment peo­ple and instal­la­tions.’ . . .”
6.–Camacho was allied with a wealthy Croa­t­ian named Branko Marinkovic: ” . . . . Cama­cho was elect­ed as vice pres­i­dent of the UJC in 2002, when he was just 23 years old. He left the orga­ni­za­tion two years lat­er to build his family’s busi­ness empire and rise through the ranks of the Pro-San­ta Cruz Com­mit­tee. It was in that orga­ni­za­tion that he was tak­en under the wing of one of the sep­a­ratist movement’s most pow­er­ful fig­ures, a Boli­vian-Croa­t­ian oli­garch named Branko Marinkovic. . . .”
7.–Marinkovic is one of the prime movers of a seces­sion­ist move­ment for the San­ta Cruz area: ” . . . . Camacho’s Croa­t­ian god­fa­ther and sep­a­ratist pow­er bro­ker Branko Marinkovic is a major landown­er who ramped up his sup­port for the right-wing oppo­si­tion after some of his land was nation­al­ized by the Evo Morales gov­ern­ment. As chair­man of the Pro-San­ta Cruz Com­mit­tee, he over­saw the oper­a­tions of the main engine of sep­a­ratism in Bolivia. In a 2008 let­ter to Marinkovic, the Inter­na­tion­al Fed­er­a­tion for Human Rights denounced the com­mit­tee as an ‘actor and pro­mot­er of racism and vio­lence in Bolivia.’ The human rights group added that it ‘condemn[ed] the atti­tude and seces­sion­ist, union­ist and racist dis­cours­es as well as the calls for mil­i­tary dis­obe­di­ence of which the Pro-San­ta Cruz Civic Com­mit­tee for is one of the main pro­mot­ers.’ In 2013, jour­nal­ist Matt Ken­nard report­ed that the US gov­ern­ment was work­ing close­ly with the Pro-San­ta Cruz Com­mit­tee to encour­age the balka­niza­tion of Bolivia and to under­mine Morales. . . .”
8.–There has been spec­u­la­tion that Marinkovich may be descend­ed from Croa­t­ian Ustachis fas­cists: ” . . . . But even some of his sym­pa­thiz­ers are skep­ti­cal. A Balkan ana­lyst from the pri­vate intel­li­gence firm Strat­for, which works close­ly with the US gov­ern­ment and is pop­u­lar­ly known as the ‘shad­ow CIA,’ pro­duced a rough back­ground pro­file on Marinkovic, spec­u­lat­ing, ‘Still don’t know his full sto­ry, but I would bet a lot of $$$ that this dude’s par­ents are 1st gen (his name is too Slav­ic) and that they were Ustashe (read: Nazi) sym­pa­thiz­ers flee­ing Tito’s Com­mu­nists after WWII.’ . . . .”
9.–Marinkovich’s activism in the San­ta Cruz area is part of a fas­cist polit­i­cal land­scape in that area that dove­tails with Klaus Bar­bie (of whom we spoke in–among oth­er programs–AFA #19): ” . . . . In a 2008 pro­file on Marinkovic, “The New York Times” acknowl­edged the extrem­ist under­cur­rents of the San­ta Cruz sep­a­ratist move­ment the oli­garch presided over. It described the area as ‘a bas­tion of open­ly xeno­pho­bic groups like the Boli­vian Social­ist Falange, whose hand-in-air salute draws inspi­ra­tion from the fas­cist Falange of the for­mer Span­ish dic­ta­tor Fran­co.” The Boli­vian Social­ist Falange was a fas­cist group that pro­vid­ed safe haven to Nazi war crim­i­nal Klaus Bar­bie dur­ing the Cold War. A for­mer Gestapo tor­ture expert, Bar­bie was repur­posed by the CIA through its Oper­a­tion Con­dor pro­gram to help exter­mi­nate com­mu­nism across the con­ti­nent. . . .”
10.–The coup fol­lows by some years an attempt by a group of inter­na­tion­al fas­cists to mur­der Morales: ” . . . . In April 2009, a spe­cial unit of the Boli­vian secu­ri­ty ser­vices barged into a lux­u­ry hotel room and cut down three men who were said to be involved in a plot to kill Evo Morales. Two oth­ers remained on the loose. Four of the alleged con­spir­a­tors had Hun­gar­i­an or Croa­t­ian roots and ties to right­ist pol­i­tics in east­ern Europe, while anoth­er was a right-wing Irish­man, Michael Dwyer, who had only arrived in San­ta Cruz six months before. The ring­leader of the group was said to be a for­mer left­ist jour­nal­ist named Eduar­do Rosza-Flo­res who had turned to fas­cism and belonged to Opus Dei, the tra­di­tion­al­ist Catholic cult that emerged under the dic­ta­tor­ship of Spain’s Fran­cis­co Fran­co. . . .”
11.–Eduardo Rosza-Flo­res had fought in the for­mer Yugoslavia on behalf of the neo-Ustachi regime that ulti­mate­ly came to pow­er: ” . . . . Dur­ing the 1990s, Rosza fought on behalf of the Croa­t­ian First Inter­na­tion­al Pla­toon, or the PIV, in the war to sep­a­rate from Yugoslavia. A Croa­t­ian jour­nal­ist told Time that the ‘PIV was a noto­ri­ous group: 95% of them had crim­i­nal his­to­ries, many were part of Nazi and fas­cist groups, from Ger­many to Ire­land.’ By 2009, Rosza returned home to Bolivia to cru­sade on behalf of anoth­er sep­a­ratist move­ment in San­ta Cruz. . . .”
12.–Rosza-Flores had no mon­ey, yet his group of would-be fas­cist assas­sins were well fund­ed. Marinkovic appears to have been among the fund­ing sources: ” . . . . Marinkovic was sub­se­quent­ly charged with pro­vid­ing $200,000 to the plot­ters. The Boli­vian-Croa­t­ian oli­garch ini­tial­ly fled to the Unit­ed States, where he was giv­en asy­lum, then relo­cat­ed to Brazil, where he lives today. He denied any involve­ment in the plan to kill Morales. As jour­nal­ist Matt Ken­nard report­ed, there was anoth­er thread that tied the plot to the US: the alleged par­tic­i­pa­tion of an NGO leader named Hugo Achá Mel­gar. . . .”
13.–Hugo Acha Mel­gar was net­worked with the Human Rights Foun­da­tion, a right-wing orga­ni­za­tion with strong links to U.S. intel­li­gence and financed in part by Peter Thiel. The Human Rights Foun­da­tion is involved in the Hong Kong tur­moil. ” . . . . Achá was not just the head of any run-of-the-mill NGO. He had found­ed the Boli­vian sub­sidiary of the Human Rights Foun­da­tion (HRF), an inter­na­tion­al right-wing out­fit that is known for host­ing a “school for rev­o­lu­tion” for activists seek­ing regime change in states tar­get­ed by the US gov­ern­ment. HRF is run by Thor Halvorssen Jr., the son of the late Venezue­lan oli­garch and CIA asset Thor Halvorssen Hel­lum.  . . . . He launched the HRF with grants from right-wing bil­lion­aires like Peter Thiel, con­ser­v­a­tive foun­da­tions, and NGOs includ­ing Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al. The group has since been at the fore­front of train­ing activists for insur­rec­tionary activ­i­ty from Hong Kong to the Mid­dle East to Latin Amer­i­ca. . . .”
14.–Proxy pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Car­los Mesa is heav­i­ly net­worked with the Inter-Amer­i­can Dia­logue, financed in con­sid­er­able mea­sure by the AID: ” . . . . Today, Mesa serves as an in-house “expert” at the Inter-Amer­i­can Dia­logue, a neolib­er­al Wash­ing­ton-based think tank focused on Latin Amer­i­ca. One of the Dialogue’s top donors is the US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment (USAID) . . . .”

Cen­tral to the mul­ti-nation­al dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Evo Morales is his nation­al­iza­tion of some of Bolivi­a’s min­er­al resource indus­try. And cen­tral to the Boli­vian min­er­al resource inven­to­ry is lithi­um, essen­tial for the man­u­fac­ture of elec­tric car bat­ter­ies: ” . . . . The main tar­get is its mas­sive deposits of lithi­um, cru­cial for the elec­tric car. . . .”

Bolivia has been report­ed to hold up to 70 per­cent of the world’s lithi­um, and the Morales gov­ern­men­t’s piv­ot toward devel­op­ing those reserves in tan­dem with Chi­nese firms, rather than West­ern transna­tion­als, may well have been the cen­tral dynam­ic in his ouster. ” . . . . Over the course of the past few years, Bolivia has strug­gled to raise invest­ment to devel­op the lithi­um reserves in a way that brings the wealth back into the coun­try for its peo­ple. Morales’ Vice Pres­i­dent Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era had said that lithi­um is the ‘fuel that will feed the world.’ Bolivia was unable to make deals with West­ern transna­tion­al firms; it decid­ed to part­ner with Chi­nese firms. This made the Morales gov­ern­ment vul­ner­a­ble. It had walked into the new Cold War between the West and Chi­na. The coup against Morales can­not be under­stood with­out a glance at this clash. . . .”

The com­plex­i­ties of the Salar de Uyu­ni salt flats–location of much of Bolivi­a’s lithi­um reserves–mandate the tech­no­log­i­cal involve­ment of for­eign firms. A deal reached with Ger­man ACI Sys­tems (heav­i­ly sub­si­dized by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment) was negat­ed by protests on the part of local res­i­dents in the Salar de Uyu­ni area. Chi­nese firms were poised to fill that vac­u­um, offer­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a more equi­table devel­op­ment of the min­er­al. ” . . . . Last year, Germany’s ACI Sys­tems agreed to a deal with Bolivia. After protests from res­i­dents in the Salar de Uyu­ni region, Morales can­celed that deal on Novem­ber 4, 2019. Chi­nese firms—such as TBEA Group and Chi­na Machin­ery Engineering—made a deal with YLB. It was being said that China’s Tian­qi Lithi­um Group, which oper­ates in Argenti­na, was going to make a deal with YLB. Both Chi­nese invest­ment and the Boli­vian lithi­um com­pa­ny were exper­i­ment­ing with new ways to both mine the lithi­um and to share the prof­its of the lithi­um. The idea that there might be a new social com­pact for the lithi­um was unac­cept­able to the main transna­tion­al min­ing com­pa­nies. . . .”

After the ouster of Morales, the val­ue of Tes­la’s stock increased dra­mat­i­cal­ly.

The ACI/Bolivia deal had heavy back­ing by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment and fea­tured the planned export of lithi­um to Ger­many and else­where in Europe. ” . . . . With the joint ven­ture, Boli­vian state com­pa­ny YLB is team­ing up with Germany’s pri­vate­ly-owned ACI Sys­tems to devel­op its mas­sive Uyu­ni salt flat and build a lithi­um hydrox­ide plant as well as a fac­to­ry for elec­tric vehi­cle bat­ter­ies in Bolivia. ACI Sys­tems is also in talks to sup­ply com­pa­nies based in Ger­many and else­where in Europe with lithi­um from Bolivia. . . . Wolf­gang Schmutz, CEO of ACI Group, the par­ent com­pa­ny of ACI Sys­tems, said more than 80 per­cent of the lithi­um would be export­ed to Ger­many. . . .”

Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance for the dis­cus­sion to fol­low is ” . . . . Chi­na’s dom­i­nance in the glob­al lithi­um sup­ply chain and its strong ties with La Paz. . . .”

Short­ly after the ouster of Morales, Tes­la announced that Tes­la would locate a new car and elec­tric bat­tery fac­to­ry near Berlin. If the ACI lithi­um devel­op­ment project in Bolivia is resus­ci­tat­ed, the Tes­la move will give the firm access to the Boli­vian lithi­um.

Might that have been the rea­son for the rise in Tes­la’s stock? Might there have been some insid­er trad­ing?

The pro­grams con­clude with review of the rebirth of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca as a syn­the­sis with British “psy-op” devel­op­ment firm SCL. A key direc­tor of Emerdata–the new firm–is a Hong Kong financier and busi­ness part­ner of Black­wa­ter chief Erik Prince, the broth­er of Trump Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion Bet­sy de Vos. Not­ing the firm for­mer­ly known as Black­wa­ter’s deep involve­ment in the world of covert oper­a­tions and for­mer Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca lynch­pin Steve Ban­non’s piv­otal role in the anti-Chi­na move­ment, it is not unrea­son­able to ask if Emer­da­ta may be involved in the Hong Kong tur­moil.

We also review Chi­na’s lead­er­ship in the devel­op­ment of Green tech­nolo­gies.

FTR #1074 FakeBook: Walkin’ the Snake on the Earth Island with Facebook (FascisBook, Part 2; In Your Facebook, Part 4)

This pro­gram sup­ple­ments past cov­er­age of Face­book in FTR #‘s 718, 946, 1021, 1039 not­ing how Face­book has net­worked with the very Hin­dut­va fas­cist Indi­an ele­ments and OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions in Ukraine. This net­work­ing has been–ostensibly to com­bat fake news. The real­i­ty may well high­light that the Face­book/B­JP-RSS/OUN/B links gen­er­ates fake news, rather than inter­dict­ing it. The fake news so gen­er­at­ed, how­ev­er, will be to the lik­ing of the fas­cists in pow­er in both coun­tries, man­i­fest­ing as a “Ser­pen­t’s Walk” revi­sion­ist sce­nario.

Key ele­ments of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis include:

1.–Indian pol­i­tics has been large­ly dom­i­nat­ed by fake news, spread by social media: ” . . . . In the con­tin­u­ing Indi­an elec­tions, as 900 mil­lion peo­ple are vot­ing to elect rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the low­er house of the Par­lia­ment, dis­in­for­ma­tion and hate speech are drown­ing out truth on social media net­works in the coun­try and cre­at­ing a pub­lic health cri­sis like the pan­demics of the past cen­tu­ry. This con­ta­gion of a stag­ger­ing amount of mor­phed images, doc­tored videos and text mes­sages is spread­ing large­ly through mes­sag­ing ser­vices and influ­enc­ing what India’s vot­ers watch and read on their smart­phones. A recent study by Microsoft found that over 64 per­cent Indi­ans encoun­tered fake news online, the high­est report­ed among the 22 coun­tries sur­veyed. . . . These plat­forms are filled with fake news and dis­in­for­ma­tion aimed at influ­enc­ing polit­i­cal choic­es dur­ing the Indi­an elec­tions. . . . ”
2.–Narendra Mod­i’s Hin­dut­va fas­cist BJP has been the pri­ma­ry ben­e­fi­cia­ry of fake news, and his regime has part­nered with Face­book: ” . . . . The hear­ing was an exer­cise in absur­dist the­ater because the gov­ern­ing B.J.P. has been the chief ben­e­fi­cia­ry of divi­sive con­tent that reach­es mil­lions because of the way social media algo­rithms, espe­cial­ly Face­book, ampli­fy ‘engag­ing’ arti­cles. . . .”
3.–Rajesh Jain is among those BJP func­tionar­ies who serve Face­book, as well as the Hin­dut­va fas­cists: ” . . . . By the time Rajesh Jain was scal­ing up his oper­a­tions in 2013, the BJP’s infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy (IT) strate­gists had begun inter­act­ing with social media plat­forms like Face­book and its part­ner What­sApp. If sup­port­ers of the BJP are to be believed, the par­ty was bet­ter than oth­ers in util­is­ing the micro-tar­get­ing poten­tial of the plat­forms. How­ev­er, it is also true that Facebook’s employ­ees in India con­duct­ed train­ing work­shops to help the mem­bers of the BJP’s IT cell. . . .”
4.–Dr. Hiren Joshi is anoth­er of the BJP oper­a­tives who is heav­i­ly involved with Face­book. ” . . . . Also assist­ing the social media and online teams to build a larg­er-than-life image for Modi before the 2014 elec­tions was a team led by his right-hand man Dr Hiren Joshi, who (as already stat­ed) is a very impor­tant advis­er to Modi whose writ extends way beyond infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy and social media. . . . Joshi has had, and con­tin­ues to have, a close and long-stand­ing asso­ci­a­tion with Facebook’s senior employ­ees in India. . . .”
5.–Shivnath Thukral, who was hired by Face­book in 2017 to be its Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Direc­tor for India & South Asia, worked with Joshi’s team in 2014. ” . . . . The third team, that was intense­ly focused on build­ing Modi’s per­son­al image, was head­ed by Hiren Joshi him­self who worked out of the then Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office in Gand­hi­na­gar. The mem­bers of this team worked close­ly with staffers of Face­book in India, more than one of our sources told us. As will be detailed lat­er, Shiv­nath Thukral, who is cur­rent­ly an impor­tant exec­u­tive in Face­book, worked with this team. . . .”
6.–An osten­si­bly remorse­ful BJP politician–Prodyut Bora–highlighted the dra­mat­ic effect of Face­book and its What­sApp sub­sidiary have had on Indi­a’s pol­i­tics: ” . . . . In 2009, social media plat­forms like Face­book and What­sApp had a mar­gin­al impact in India’s 20 big cities. By 2014, how­ev­er, it had vir­tu­al­ly replaced the tra­di­tion­al mass media. In 2019, it will be the most per­va­sive media in the coun­try. . . .”
7.–A con­cise state­ment about the rela­tion­ship between the BJP and Face­book was issued by BJP tech office Vinit Goen­ka: ” . . . . At one stage in our inter­view with [Vinit] Goen­ka that last­ed over two hours, we asked him a point­ed ques­tion: ‘Who helped whom more, Face­book or the BJP?’ He smiled and said: ‘That’s a dif­fi­cult ques­tion. I won­der whether the BJP helped Face­book more than Face­book helped the BJP. You could say, we helped each oth­er.’ . . .”

In Ukraine, as well, Face­book and the OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions func­tion sym­bi­ot­i­cal­ly:

(Note that the Atlantic Coun­cil is dom­i­nant in the array of indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions con­sti­tut­ing the Ukrain­ian fascist/Facebook coop­er­a­tive effort. We have spo­ken about the Atlantic Coun­cil in numer­ous pro­grams, includ­ing FTR #943. The orga­ni­za­tion has deep oper­a­tional links to ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence, as well as the OUN/B milieu that dom­i­nates the Ukrain­ian dias­po­ra.)

Over­lap­ping cyber­se­cu­ri­ty out­fit Crowd­Strike, the Atlantic Coun­cil has been at the fore­front of the “Rus­sia” was behind the high-pro­file hacks meme:

CrowdStrike–at the epi­cen­ter of the sup­posed Russ­ian hack­ing con­tro­ver­sy is note­wor­thy. Its co-founder and chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer, Dmit­ry Alper­ovitch is a senior fel­low at the Atlantic Coun­cil, financed by ele­ments that are at the foun­da­tion of fan­ning the flames of the New Cold War: “In this respect, it is worth not­ing that one of the com­mer­cial cyber­se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­nies the gov­ern­ment has relied on is Crowd­strike, which was one of the com­pa­nies ini­tial­ly brought in by the DNC to inves­ti­gate the alleged hacks. . . . Dmitri Alper­ovitch is also a senior fel­low at the Atlantic Coun­cil. . . . The con­nec­tion between [Crowd­strike co-founder and chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer Dmitri] Alper­ovitch and the Atlantic Coun­cil has gone large­ly unre­marked upon, but it is rel­e­vant giv­en that the Atlantic Council—which is is fund­ed in part by the US State Depart­ment, NATO, the gov­ern­ments of Latvia and Lithua­nia, the Ukrain­ian World Con­gress, and the Ukrain­ian oli­garch Vic­tor Pinchuk—has been among the loud­est voic­es call­ing for a new Cold War with Rus­sia. As I point­ed out in the pages of The Nation in Novem­ber, the Atlantic Coun­cil has spent the past sev­er­al years pro­duc­ing some of the most vir­u­lent spec­i­mens of the new Cold War pro­pa­gan­da. . . . ”

In May of 2018, Face­book decid­ed to effec­tive­ly out­source the work of iden­ti­fy­ing pro­pa­gan­da and mis­in­for­ma­tion dur­ing elec­tions to the Atlantic Coun­cil, so choos­ing some­one like Kruk who already has the Atlantic Council’s stamp of approval is in keep­ing with that trend:

” . . . . Face­book is part­ner­ing with the Atlantic Coun­cil in anoth­er effort to com­bat elec­tion-relat­ed pro­pa­gan­da and mis­in­for­ma­tion from pro­lif­er­at­ing on its ser­vice. The social net­work­ing giant said Thurs­day that a part­ner­ship with the Wash­ing­ton D.C.-based think tank would help it bet­ter spot dis­in­for­ma­tion dur­ing upcom­ing world elec­tions. The part­ner­ship is one of a num­ber of steps Face­book is tak­ing to pre­vent the spread of pro­pa­gan­da and fake news after fail­ing to stop it from spread­ing on its ser­vice in the run up to the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. . . .”

Since autumn 2018, Face­book has looked to hire a pub­lic pol­i­cy man­ag­er for Ukraine. The job came after years of Ukraini­ans crit­i­ciz­ing the plat­form for take­downs of its activists’ pages and the spread of [alleged] Russ­ian dis­in­fo tar­get­ing Kyiv. Now, it appears to have one: @Kateryna_Kruk.— Christo­pher Miller (@ChristopherJM) June 3, 2019

Katery­na Kruk:

1.–Is Facebook’s Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Man­ag­er for Ukraine as of May of this year, accord­ing to her LinkedIn page.
2.–Worked as an ana­lyst and TV host for the Ukrain­ian ‘anti-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da’ out­fit Stop­Fake. Stop­Fake is the cre­ation of Ire­na Chalu­pa, who works for the Atlantic Coun­cil and the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment and appears to be the sis­ter of Andrea and Alexan­dra Chalu­pa.
3.–Joined the “Krem­lin Watch” team at the Euro­pean Val­ues think-tank, in Octo­ber of 2017.
4.–Received the Atlantic Coun­cil’s Free­dom award for her com­mu­ni­ca­tions work dur­ing the Euro­maid­an protests in June of 2014.
5.–Worked for OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion Svo­bo­da dur­ing the Euro­maid­an protests. “ . . . ‘There are peo­ple who don’t sup­port Svo­bo­da because of some of their slo­gans, but they know it’s the most active polit­i­cal par­ty and go to them for help, said Svo­bo­da vol­un­teer Katery­na Kruk. . . . ”
6.–Also has a num­ber of arti­cles on the Atlantic Council’s Blog. Here’s a blog post from August of 2018 where she advo­cates for the cre­ation of an inde­pen­dent Ukrain­ian Ortho­dox Church to dimin­ish the influ­ence of the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church.
7.–According to her LinkedIn page has also done exten­sive work for the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment. From March 2016 to Jan­u­ary 2017 she was the Strate­gic Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ag­er for the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment where she was respon­si­ble for social media and inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions. From Jan­u­ary-April 2017 she was the Head of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the Min­istry of Health.
8.–Was not only was a vol­un­teer for Svo­bo­da dur­ing the 2014 Euro­maid­an protests, but open­ly cel­e­brat­ed on twit­ter the May 2014 mas­sacre in Odessa when the far right burned dozens of pro­tes­tors alive. Kruk’s twit­ter feed is set to pri­vate now so there isn’t pub­lic access to her old tweet, but peo­ple have screen cap­tures of it. Here’s a tweet from Yasha Levine with a screen­shot of Kruk’s May 2, 2014 tweet where she writes: “#Odessa cleaned itself from ter­ror­ists, proud for city fight­ing for its identity.glory to fall­en heroes..” She even threw in a “glo­ry to fall­en heroes” at the end of her tweet cel­e­brat­ing this mas­sacre. Keep in mind that it was month after this tweet that the Atlantic Coun­cil gave her that Free­dom Award for her com­mu­ni­ca­tions work dur­ing the protests.
9.–In 2014, . . . tweet­ed that a man had asked her to con­vince his grand­son not to join the Azov Bat­tal­ion, a neo-Nazi mili­tia. “I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I thanked that boy and blessed him.” And he then trav­eled to Luhan­sk to fight pro-Russ­ian rebels.
10.–Lionized a Nazi sniper killed in Ukraine’s civ­il war. In March 2018, a 19-year neo-Nazi named Andriy “Dil­ly” Krivich was shot and killed by a sniper. Krivich had been fight­ing with the fas­cist Ukrain­ian group Right Sec­tor, and had post­ed pho­tos on social media wear­ing Nazi Ger­man sym­bols. After he was killed, Kruk tweet­ed an homage to the teenage Nazi. (The Nazi was also lion­ized on Euro­maid­an Press’ Face­book page.)
11.–Has staunch­ly defend­ed the use of the slo­gan “Sla­va Ukraini,”which was first coined and pop­u­lar­ized by Nazi-col­lab­o­rat­ing fas­cists, and is now the offi­cial salute of Ukraine’s army.
12.–Has also said that the Ukrain­ian fas­cist politi­cian Andriy Paru­biy, who co-found­ed a neo-Nazi par­ty before lat­er becom­ing the chair­man of Ukraine’s par­lia­ment the Rada, is “act­ing smart,” writ­ing, “Paru­biy touche.” . . . .

In the con­text of Face­book’s insti­tu­tion­al lev­el net­work­ing with fas­cists, it is worth not­ing that social media them­selves have been cit­ed as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor to right-wing domes­tic ter­ror­ism. ” . . . The first is sto­chas­tic ter­ror­ism: ‘The use of mass, pub­lic com­mu­ni­ca­tion, usu­al­ly against a par­tic­u­lar indi­vid­ual or group, which incites or inspires acts of ter­ror­ism which are sta­tis­ti­cal­ly prob­a­ble but hap­pen seem­ing­ly at ran­dom.’ I encoun­tered the idea in a Fri­day thread from data sci­en­tist Emi­ly Gorcens­ki, who used it to tie togeth­er four recent attacks. . . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with review (from FTR #1039) of the psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare strat­e­gy adapt­ed by Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca to the polit­i­cal are­na. Christo­pher Wylie–the for­mer head of research at Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca who became one of the key insid­er whis­tle-blow­ers about how Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca oper­at­ed and the extent of Facebook’s knowl­edge about it–gave an inter­view to Cam­paign Mag­a­zine. (We dealt with Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca in FTR #‘s 946, 1021.) Wylie recounts how, as direc­tor of research at Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, his orig­i­nal role was to deter­mine how the com­pa­ny could use the infor­ma­tion war­fare tech­niques used by SCL Group – Cam­bridge Analytica’s par­ent com­pa­ny and a defense con­trac­tor pro­vid­ing psy op ser­vices for the British mil­i­tary. Wylie’s job was to adapt the psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare strate­gies that SCL had been using on the bat­tle­field to the online space. As Wylie put it:

“ . . . . When you are work­ing in infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions projects, where your tar­get is a com­bat­ant, the auton­o­my or agency of your tar­gets is not your pri­ma­ry con­sid­er­a­tion. It is fair game to deny and manip­u­late infor­ma­tion, coerce and exploit any men­tal vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties a per­son has, and to bring out the very worst char­ac­ter­is­tics in that per­son because they are an enemy…But if you port that over to a demo­c­ra­t­ic sys­tem, if you run cam­paigns designed to under­mine people’s abil­i­ty to make free choic­es and to under­stand what is real and not real, you are under­min­ing democ­ra­cy and treat­ing vot­ers in the same way as you are treat­ing ter­ror­ists. . . . .”

Wylie also draws par­al­lels between the psy­cho­log­i­cal oper­a­tions used on demo­c­ra­t­ic audi­ences and the bat­tle­field tech­niques used to be build an insur­gency.

How the Murder of Mollie Tibbetts Shined a Light On the GOP’s Dark Money Propaganda Machine

What does the mur­der of Mol­lie Tib­betts have in com­mon with down­fall of Amer­i­ca? If you had asked Fox News or Pres­i­dent Trump in the days fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tion that Mol­lie’s mur­der­er was ‘an ille­gal’, they would have told you ille­gal immi­gra­tion is what the mur­der and Amer­i­ca’s down­fall have in com­mon. But as we’re going to see, the real com­mon link between Mol­lie’s mur­der and the down­fall of Amer­i­ca was dis­cov­ered and the right-wing noise sud­den­ly stopped talk­ing about Mol­lie’s mur­der almost entire­ly. Because that com­mon link turned out to be Nicole Schlinger, an influ­en­tial GOP fundrais­er and an impor­tant fig­ure in one of the most impor­tant GOP 501(c)(4) (‘social wel­far’) polit­i­cal super­PACs: Amer­i­can Future Fund (AFF). And as we’re going to see, the sto­ry of AFF is the sto­ry of how the explo­sion of dark mon­ey in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics was exe­cut­ed. And as sto­ry of how it was pri­ma­ry right-wing mega-donors behind this explo­sion. It’s a sto­ry illus­tra­tive of how the kinds of pro­pa­gan­da net­works that would exploit the mur­der of an Iowan col­lege stu­dent for polit­i­cal gain oper­ate and the dom­i­nance of these net­works in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, so it real­ly is a sto­ry about the down­fall of Amer­i­ca.

FTR #1026 The So-Called “Arab Spring” Revisited, Part 2

In FTR #‘s 733 through 739, we pre­sent­ed our view that the so-called Arab Spring was a U.S. intel­li­gence oper­a­tion, aimed at plac­ing the Broth­er­hood in pow­er in Mus­lim coun­tries dom­i­nat­ed either by a sec­u­lar dic­ta­tor or absolute monar­chy.

Con­tin­u­ing analy­sis from our pre­vi­ous pro­gram, this broad­cast delves fur­ther into the net­work­ing between the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Al-Qae­da. Against the back­ground of the occu­pa­tion of Idlib Province in Syr­ia by Al-Qae­da, we high­light the appar­ent role of Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the events sur­round­ing the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beng­hazi, Libya.

The over­throw of Khadafy in Libya was an out­growth of the so-called Arab Spring, as was the pre­cip­i­ta­tion of the civ­il war in Syr­ia. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that the GOP-led inves­ti­ga­tions of the Beng­hazi attack led direct­ly to both the inves­ti­ga­tion of Hillary Clin­ton’s e‑mails and the deci­sive­ly sig­nif­i­cant FBI tam­per­ing with the 2016 elec­tion, as well as the alleged “hack” of Hillary’s e‑mails!

An Egypt­ian news­pa­per pub­lished what were said to be inter­cept­ed record­ings of Mor­si com­mu­ni­cat­ing con­spir­a­to­ri­al­ly with Muham­mad al-Zawahiri, the the broth­er of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of Al-Qae­da. Much of this checks out with infor­ma­tion that is already on the pub­lic record.

Note the net­work­ing of GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham with Khairat El-Shater of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood while he was in prison, as well as the alleged links between the Egypt­ian Broth­er­hood and the cells involved in attack­ing the U.S. Embassy in Libya.

What we may well be look­ing at is a gam­bit along the lines of what has become known as the Octo­ber Surprise–collusion between the Iran­ian Islamists and George H.W. Bush/CIA/GOP to (among oth­er things) desta­bi­lize the Carter admin­is­tra­tion and 1980 re-elec­tion cam­paign.

In addi­tion, we won­der about a deal hav­ing been struck to have Al-Qae­da fight against Bashar Assad in Syr­ia, while avoid­ing attacks inside the U.S.?

Of pri­ma­ry focus in the mate­r­i­al below is Khairat El-Shater (translit­er­at­ed spellings of his name dif­fer.) El-Shater:

1.–Was the num­ber two man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, though not for­mer­ly a mem­ber of Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment.
2.–Networked with U.S. Ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son and GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat El-Shater (alter­na­tive­ly translit­er­at­ed with two “t’s” and/or an “al”), short­ly after Mor­si was deposed. ” . . . . It is inter­est­ing to note here that, pri­or to these rev­e­la­tions, U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son was seen vis­it­ing with Khairat El-Shater—even though he held no posi­tion in the Mor­si government—and after the oust­ing and impris­on­ment of Mor­si and lead­ing Broth­er­hood mem­bers, Sens. John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham made it a point to vis­it the civil­ian Shater in his prison cell and urged the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment to release him. . . .”
3.–Was deeply involved in mobi­liz­ing Al-Qae­da on behalf of Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . Also on that same first day of the rev­o­lu­tion, Khairat al-Shater, Deputy Leader of the Broth­er­hood, had a meet­ing with a del­e­gate of jiha­di fight­ers and reit­er­at­ed Morsi’s request that all jihadis come to the aid of the pres­i­den­cy and the Broth­er­hood. . . . ”
4.–Was the appar­ent source of a $50 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion by the Broth­er­hood to Al Qae­da: ” . . . . That the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inter­na­tion­al wing, includ­ing through the agency of Khairat al-Shater, had pro­vid­ed $50 mil­lion to al-Qae­da in part to sup­port the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt. . . .”
5.–Had the pass­port of the alleged leader of the Beng­hazi attack in his home when he was arrest­ed: ” . . . . Most recent­ly, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a promi­nent Egypt­ian polit­i­cal insid­er and ana­lyst made sev­er­al asser­tions on Tahrir TV that fur­ther con­nect­ed the dots. . . . Musa insist­ed that he had absolute knowl­edge that the mur­der­er of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose pass­port was found in Broth­er­hood leader Khairat El-Shater’s home, when the lat­ter was arrest­ed. . . .”
6.–Epitomized the GOP-beloved, cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic ide­ol­o­gy and lifestyle: ” . . . . Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat El-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da. . . . . . . . the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers. . . .”

This broad­cast begins with con­clu­sion of read­ing of a key arti­cle that was fea­tured in our last pro­gram.

Key points of analy­sis in dis­cus­sion of the Morsi/Zawahiri/Brotherhood con­nec­tion include:

1.–Muhamed Zawahir­i’s promise to bol­ster Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment with mil­i­tary sup­port, in exchange for Mor­si steer­ing Egypt in the direc­tion of Sharia law. ” . . . . The call end­ed in agree­ment that al-Qae­da would sup­port the Broth­er­hood, includ­ing its inter­na­tion­al branch­es, under the under­stand­ing that Mor­si would soon imple­ment full Sharia in Egypt.  After this, Muham­mad Zawahiri and Khairat al-Shater, the num­ber-two man of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood orga­ni­za­tion, report­ed­ly met reg­u­lar­ly. . . .”
2.–Morsi’s agree­ment with Zawahir­i’s pro­pos­al. ” . . . . Zawahiri fur­ther request­ed that Mor­si allow them to devel­op train­ing camps in Sinai in order to sup­port the Broth­er­hood through trained mil­i­tants. Along with say­ing that the Broth­er­hood intend­ed to form a ‘rev­o­lu­tion­ary guard’ to pro­tect him against any coup, Mor­si added that, in return for al-Qaeda’s and its affil­i­ates’ sup­port, not only would he allow them to have such train­ing camps, but he would facil­i­tate their devel­op­ment in Sinai and give them four facil­i­ties to use along the Egypt­ian-Libyan bor­der. . . .”
3.–The net­work­ing between U.S. Ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son and GOP Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat El-Shater (alter­na­tive­ly translit­er­at­ed with two “t’s”), short­ly after Mor­si was deposed. ” . . . . It is inter­est­ing to note here that, pri­or to these rev­e­la­tions, U.S. ambas­sador Anne Pat­ter­son was seen vis­it­ing with Khairat al-Shater—even though he held no posi­tion in the Mor­si government—and after the oust­ing and impris­on­ment of Mor­si and lead­ing Broth­er­hood mem­bers, Sens. John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham made it a point to vis­it the civil­ian Shater in his prison cell and urged the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment to release him. . . .”
4.–Note that Mor­si sanc­tioned and Broth­er­hood-aid­ed Al-Qae­da mil­i­tants were appar­ent­ly involved in the Behg­hazi attacks that led to the Beng­hazi inves­ti­ga­tion, the Hillary e‑mails non-scan­dal and all that fol­lowed: ” . . . . Accord­ing to a Libyan Ara­bic report I trans­lat­ed back in June 2013, those who attacked the U.S. con­sulate in Beng­hazi, killing Amer­i­cans, includ­ing Ambas­sador Chris Stevens, were from jiha­di cells that had been formed in Libya through Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­port.  Those inter­ro­gat­ed named Mor­si and oth­er top Broth­er­hood lead­er­ship as accom­plices. . . . ”
5.–Khairat El-Shater was deeply involved in mobi­liz­ing Al-Qae­da on behalf of Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . Also on that same first day of the rev­o­lu­tion, Khairat al-Shater, Deputy Leader of the Broth­er­hood, had a meet­ing with a del­e­gate of jiha­di fight­ers and reit­er­at­ed Morsi’s request that all jihadis come to the aid of the pres­i­den­cy and the Broth­er­hood. . . . ”
6.–Khairat El-Shater was the appar­ent source of a $50 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion by the Broth­er­hood to Al Qae­da: ” . . . . That the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inter­na­tion­al wing, includ­ing through the agency of Khairat al-Shater, had pro­vid­ed $50 mil­lion to al-Qae­da in part to sup­port the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt. . . .”
7.–Next, we high­light anoth­er impor­tant arti­cle from Ray­mond Ibrahim about the Mor­si/Al-Qae­da con­nec­tion to the Beng­hazi attack. Sup­ple­ment­ing the infor­ma­tion about net­work­ing between U.S. Ambas­sador to Egypt Anne Pat­ter­son, John McCain, Lind­say Gra­ham and Khairat al-Shater, we note that:

1.–The Beng­hazi attack­ers were appar­ent­ly linked to Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood: ” . . . . days after the Beng­hazi attack back in Sep­tem­ber 2012, Mus­lim Broth­er­hood con­nec­tions appeared.  A video made dur­ing the con­sulate attack records peo­ple approach­ing the belea­guered U.S. com­pound; one of them yells to the besiegers in an Egypt­ian dialect, ‘Don’t shoot—Dr. Mor­si sent us!’ appar­ent­ly a ref­er­ence to the for­mer Islamist pres­i­dent. . . .”
2.–The pass­port of the alleged leader of the Beng­hazi attack was found in the home of McCain/Graham con­tact Kharat al-Shater’s home when he was arrest­ed: ” . . . . Most recent­ly, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a promi­nent Egypt­ian polit­i­cal insid­er and ana­lyst made sev­er­al asser­tions on Tahrir TV that fur­ther con­nect­ed the dots. . . . Musa insist­ed that he had absolute knowl­edge that the mur­der­er of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose pass­port was found in Broth­er­hood leader Khairat El-Shater’s home, when the lat­ter was arrest­ed. . . .”
3.–The attack on the U.S. Embassy may well have been intend­ed to take Chris Stevens hostage, in order to use him as poten­tial barter for the Blind Sheikh: ” . . . . The day before the embassy attacks, based on lit­tle known but legit­i­mate Ara­bic reports, I wrote an arti­cle titled ‘Jihadis Threat­en to Burn U.S. Embassy in Cairo,’ explain­ing how Islamists—including al-Qaeda—were threat­en­ing to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo unless the noto­ri­ous Blind Sheikh—an Islamist hero held in prison in the U.S. in con­nec­tion to the first World Trade Cen­ter bombing—was released.  The date Sep­tem­ber 11 was also delib­er­ate­ly cho­sen to attack the embassy to com­mem­o­rate the ‘hero­ic’ Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 al-Qae­da strikes on Amer­i­ca. . . .”
4.–The Unit­ed States: ” . . . . first with Anne Pat­ter­son, and now with Sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­say Gra­ham, keep pres­sur­ing Egypt to release Broth­er­hood lead­ers; McCain per­son­al­ly even vis­it­ed the civil­ian El-Shater, whose raid­ed home revealed the pass­port of Azzazi, whom Musa claims is the mur­der­er of Stevens. . . .”

Fol­low­ing the Beng­hazi dis­cus­sion, we recap an arti­cle about the Broth­er­hood and appar­ent Al-Qaeda/Beng­hazi col­lab­o­ra­tor Khairat El-Shater, not­ing the pow­er­ful res­o­nance between his and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s val­ues and those of the GOP and the cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ty:

1.–” . . . . the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers. . . .”
2.–” . . . . Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat El-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da. . . .”

We con­clude with infor­ma­tion about the train­ing of activists in high-tech and social media in order to launch the Arab Spring.

In a remark­able and very impor­tant new book, Yasha Levine has high­light­ed the role of U.S. tech per­son­nel in train­ing and prep­ping the Arab Spring online activists.

Note while read­ing the fol­low­ing excerpts of this remark­able and impor­tant book, that:

1.–The Tor net­work was devel­oped by, and used and com­pro­mised by, ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence.
2.–One of the pri­ma­ry advo­cates and spon­sors of the Tor net­work is the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors. As we saw in FTR #‘s 891, 895, is an exten­sion of the CIA.
3.–Jacob Appel­baum has been financed by the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, advo­cates use of the Tor net­work, has helped Wik­iLeaks with its exten­sive use of the Tor net­work, and is a the­o­ret­i­cal accolyte of Ayn Rand.

FTR #1021 FascisBook: (In Your Facebook, Part 3–A Virtual Panopticon, Part 3)

This pro­gram fol­lows up FTR #‘s 718 and 946, we exam­ined Face­book, not­ing how it’s cute, warm, friend­ly pub­lic facade obscured a cyn­i­cal, reac­tionary, exploita­tive and, ulti­mate­ly “cor­po­ratist” eth­ic and oper­a­tion.

The UK’s Chan­nel 4 sent an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist under­cov­er to work for one of the third-par­ty com­pa­nies Face­book pays to mod­er­ate con­tent. This inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist was trained to take a hands-off approach to far right vio­lent con­tent and fake news because that kind of con­tent engages users for longer and increas­es ad rev­enues. ” . . . . An inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist who went under­cov­er as a Face­book mod­er­a­tor in Ire­land says the com­pa­ny lets pages from far-right fringe groups ‘exceed dele­tion thresh­old,’ and that those pages are ‘sub­ject to dif­fer­ent treat­ment in the same cat­e­go­ry as pages belong­ing to gov­ern­ments and news orga­ni­za­tions.’ The accu­sa­tion is a damn­ing one, under­min­ing Facebook’s claims that it is active­ly try­ing to cut down on fake news, pro­pa­gan­da, hate speech, and oth­er harm­ful con­tent that may have sig­nif­i­cant real-world impact.The under­cov­er jour­nal­ist detailed his find­ings in a new doc­u­men­tary titled Inside Face­book: Secrets of the Social Net­work, that just aired on the UK’s Chan­nel 4. . . . .”

Next, we present a fright­en­ing sto­ry about Aggre­gateIQ (AIQ), the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca off­shoot to which Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca out­sourced the devel­op­ment of its “Ripon” psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­file soft­ware devel­op­ment, and which lat­er played a key role in the pro-Brex­it cam­paign. The arti­cle also notes that, despite Facebook’s pledge to kick Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca off of its plat­form, secu­ri­ty researchers just found 13 apps avail­able for Face­book that appear to be devel­oped by AIQ. If Face­book real­ly was try­ing to kick Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca off of its plat­form, it’s not try­ing very hard. One app is even named “AIQ John­ny Scraper” and it’s reg­is­tered to AIQ.

The arti­cle is also a reminder that you don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need to down­load a Cam­bridge Analytica/AIQ app for them to be track­ing your infor­ma­tion and reselling it to clients. Secu­ri­ty researcher stum­bled upon a new repos­i­to­ry of curat­ed Face­book data AIQ was cre­at­ing for a client and it’s entire­ly pos­si­ble a lot of the data was scraped from pub­lic Face­book posts.

” . . . . Aggre­gateIQ, a Cana­di­an con­sul­tan­cy alleged to have links to Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, col­lect­ed and stored the data of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Face­book users, accord­ing to redact­ed com­put­er files seen by the Finan­cial Times.The social net­work banned Aggre­gateIQ, a data com­pa­ny, from its plat­form as part of a clean-up oper­a­tion fol­low­ing the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal, on sus­pi­cion that the com­pa­ny could have been improp­er­ly access­ing user infor­ma­tion. How­ev­er, Chris Vick­ery, a secu­ri­ty researcher, this week found an app on the plat­form called ‘AIQ John­ny Scraper’ reg­is­tered to the com­pa­ny, rais­ing fresh ques­tions about the effec­tive­ness of Facebook’s polic­ing efforts. . . .”

In addi­tion, the sto­ry high­lights a forms of micro-tar­get­ing com­pa­nies like AIQ make avail­able that’s fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent from the algo­rith­mic micro-tar­get­ing asso­ci­at­ed with social media abus­es: micro-tar­get­ing by a human who wants to specif­i­cal­ly look and see what you per­son­al­ly have said about var­i­ous top­ics on social media. This is a ser­vice where some­one can type you into a search engine and AIQ’s prod­uct will serve up a list of all the var­i­ous polit­i­cal posts you’ve made or the polit­i­cal­ly-rel­e­vant “Likes” you’ve made.

Next, we note that Face­book is get­ting sued by an app devel­op­er for act­ing like the mafia and turn­ing access to all that user data as the key enforce­ment tool:

“Mark Zucker­berg faces alle­ga­tions that he devel­oped a ‘mali­cious and fraud­u­lent scheme’ to exploit vast amounts of pri­vate data to earn Face­book bil­lions and force rivals out of busi­ness. A com­pa­ny suing Face­book in a Cal­i­for­nia court claims the social network’s chief exec­u­tive ‘weaponised’ the abil­i­ty to access data from any user’s net­work of friends – the fea­ture at the heart of the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal.  . . . . ‘The evi­dence uncov­ered by plain­tiff demon­strates that the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal was not the result of mere neg­li­gence on Facebook’s part but was rather the direct con­se­quence of the mali­cious and fraud­u­lent scheme Zucker­berg designed in 2012 to cov­er up his fail­ure to antic­i­pate the world’s tran­si­tion to smart­phones,’ legal doc­u­ments said. . . . . Six4Three alleges up to 40,000 com­pa­nies were effec­tive­ly defraud­ed in this way by Face­book. It also alleges that senior exec­u­tives includ­ing Zucker­berg per­son­al­ly devised and man­aged the scheme, indi­vid­u­al­ly decid­ing which com­pa­nies would be cut off from data or allowed pref­er­en­tial access. . . . ‘They felt that it was bet­ter not to know. I found that utter­ly hor­ri­fy­ing,’ he [for­mer Face­book exec­u­tive Sandy Parak­i­las] said. ‘If true, these alle­ga­tions show a huge betray­al of users, part­ners and reg­u­la­tors. They would also show Face­book using its monop­oly pow­er to kill com­pe­ti­tion and putting prof­its over pro­tect­ing its users.’ . . . .”

The above-men­tioned Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca is offi­cial­ly going bank­rupt, along with the elec­tions divi­sion of its par­ent com­pa­ny, SCL Group. Appar­ent­ly their bad press has dri­ven away clients.

Is this tru­ly the end of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca?


They’re rebrand­ing under a new com­pa­ny, Emer­da­ta. Intrigu­ing­ly, Cam­bridge Analytica’s trans­for­ma­tion into Emer­da­ta is note­wor­thy because  the fir­m’s direc­tors include John­son Ko Chun Shun, a Hong Kong financier and busi­ness part­ner of Erik Prince: ” . . . . But the company’s announce­ment left sev­er­al ques­tions unan­swered, includ­ing who would retain the company’s intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty — the so-called psy­cho­graph­ic vot­er pro­files built in part with data from Face­book — and whether Cam­bridge Analytica’s data-min­ing busi­ness would return under new aus­pices. . . . In recent months, exec­u­tives at Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca and SCL Group, along with the Mer­cer fam­i­ly, have moved to cre­at­ed a new firm, Emer­da­ta, based in Britain, accord­ing to British records. The new company’s direc­tors include John­son Ko Chun Shun, a Hong Kong financier and busi­ness part­ner of Erik Prince. . . . An exec­u­tive and a part own­er of SCL Group, Nigel Oakes, has pub­licly described Emer­da­ta as a way of rolling up the two com­pa­nies under one new ban­ner. . . . ”

In the Big Data inter­net age, there’s one area of per­son­al infor­ma­tion that has yet to be incor­po­rat­ed into the pro­files on everyone–personal bank­ing infor­ma­tion.  ” . . . . If tech com­pa­nies are in con­trol of pay­ment sys­tems, they’ll know “every sin­gle thing you do,” Kapi­to said. It’s a dif­fer­ent busi­ness mod­el from tra­di­tion­al bank­ing: Data is more valu­able for tech firms that sell a range of dif­fer­ent prod­ucts than it is for banks that only sell finan­cial ser­vices, he said. . . .”

Face­book is approach­ing a num­ber of big banks – JP Mor­gan, Wells Far­go, Cit­i­group, and US Ban­corp – request­ing finan­cial data includ­ing card trans­ac­tions and check­ing-account bal­ances. Face­book is joined byIn this by Google and Ama­zon who are also try­ing to get this kind of data.

Face­book assures us that this infor­ma­tion, which will be opt-in, is to be sole­ly for offer­ing new ser­vices on Face­book mes­sen­ger. Face­book also assures us that this infor­ma­tion, which would obvi­ous­ly be invalu­able for deliv­er­ing ads, won’t be used for ads at all. It will ONLY be used for Facebook’s Mes­sen­ger ser­vice.  This is a dubi­ous assur­ance, in light of Face­book’s past behav­ior.

” . . . . Face­book increas­ing­ly wants to be a plat­form where peo­ple buy and sell goods and ser­vices, besides con­nect­ing with friends. The com­pa­ny over the past year asked JPMor­gan Chase & Co., Wells Far­go & Co., Cit­i­group Inc. and U.S. Ban­corp to dis­cuss poten­tial offer­ings it could host for bank cus­tomers on Face­book Mes­sen­ger, said peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter. Face­book has talked about a fea­ture that would show its users their check­ing-account bal­ances, the peo­ple said. It has also pitched fraud alerts, some of the peo­ple said. . . .”

Peter Thiel’s sur­veil­lance firm Palan­tir was appar­ent­ly deeply involved with Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca’s gam­ing of per­son­al data har­vest­ed from Face­book in order to engi­neer an elec­toral vic­to­ry for Trump. Thiel was an ear­ly investor in Face­book, at one point was its largest share­hold­er and is still one of its largest share­hold­ers. ” . . . . It was a Palan­tir employ­ee in Lon­don, work­ing close­ly with the data sci­en­tists build­ing Cambridge’s psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­fil­ing tech­nol­o­gy, who sug­gest­ed the sci­en­tists cre­ate their own app — a mobile-phone-based per­son­al­i­ty quiz — to gain access to Face­book users’ friend net­works, accord­ing to doc­u­ments obtained by The New York Times. The rev­e­la­tions pulled Palan­tir — co-found­ed by the wealthy lib­er­tar­i­an Peter Thiel — into the furor sur­round­ing Cam­bridge, which improp­er­ly obtained Face­book data to build ana­lyt­i­cal tools it deployed on behalf of Don­ald J. Trump and oth­er Repub­li­can can­di­dates in 2016. Mr. Thiel, a sup­port­er of Pres­i­dent Trump, serves on the board at Face­book. ‘There were senior Palan­tir employ­ees that were also work­ing on the Face­book data,’ said Christo­pher Wylie, a data expert and Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca co-founder, in tes­ti­mo­ny before British law­mak­ers on Tues­day. . . . The con­nec­tions between Palan­tir and Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca were thrust into the spot­light by Mr. Wylie’s tes­ti­mo­ny on Tues­day. Both com­pa­nies are linked to tech-dri­ven bil­lion­aires who backed Mr. Trump’s cam­paign: Cam­bridge is chiefly owned by Robert Mer­cer, the com­put­er sci­en­tist and hedge fund mag­nate, while Palan­tir was co-found­ed in 2003 by Mr. Thiel, who was an ini­tial investor in Face­book. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1.–Facebook’s project to incor­po­rate brain-to-com­put­er inter­face into its oper­at­ing sys­tem: ” . . . Face­book wants to build its own “brain-to-com­put­er inter­face” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a com­put­er. ‘What if you could type direct­ly from your brain?’ Regi­na Dugan, the head of the company’s secre­tive hard­ware R&D divi­sion, Build­ing 8, asked from the stage. Dugan then pro­ceed­ed to show a video demo of a woman typ­ing eight words per minute direct­ly from the stage. In a few years, she said, the team hopes to demon­strate a real-time silent speech sys­tem capa­ble of deliv­er­ing a hun­dred words per minute. ‘That’s five times faster than you can type on your smart­phone, and it’s straight from your brain,’ she said. ‘Your brain activ­i­ty con­tains more infor­ma­tion than what a word sounds like and how it’s spelled; it also con­tains seman­tic infor­ma­tion of what those words mean.’ . . .”
2.–” . . . . Brain-com­put­er inter­faces are noth­ing new. DARPA, which Dugan used to head, has invest­ed heav­i­ly in brain-com­put­er inter­face tech­nolo­gies to do things like cure men­tal ill­ness and restore mem­o­ries to sol­diers injured in war. But what Face­book is propos­ing is per­haps more radical—a world in which social media doesn’t require pick­ing up a phone or tap­ping a wrist watch in order to com­mu­ni­cate with your friends; a world where we’re con­nect­ed all the time by thought alone. . . .”
3.–” . . . . Facebook’s Build­ing 8 is mod­eled after DARPA and its projects tend to be equal­ly ambi­tious. . . .”
4.–” . . . . But what Face­book is propos­ing is per­haps more radical—a world in which social media doesn’t require pick­ing up a phone or tap­ping a wrist watch in order to com­mu­ni­cate with your friends; a world where we’re con­nect­ed all the time by thought alone. . . .”
5.–” . . . . Face­book hopes to use opti­cal neur­al imag­ing tech­nol­o­gy to scan the brain 100 times per sec­ond to detect thoughts and turn them into text. Mean­while, it’s work­ing on ‘skin-hear­ing’ that could trans­late sounds into hap­tic feed­back that peo­ple can learn to under­stand like braille. . . .”
6.–” . . . . Wor­ry­ing­ly, Dugan even­tu­al­ly appeared frus­trat­ed in response to my inquiries about how her team thinks about safe­ty pre­cau­tions for brain inter­faces, say­ing, ‘The flip side of the ques­tion that you’re ask­ing is ‘why invent it at all?’ and I just believe that the opti­mistic per­spec­tive is that on bal­ance, tech­no­log­i­cal advances have real­ly meant good things for the world if they’re han­dled respon­si­bly.’ . . . .”
7.–Some telling obser­va­tions by Nigel Oakes, the founder of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca par­ent firm SCL: ” . . . . . . . . The pan­el has pub­lished audio records in which an exec­u­tive tied to Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca dis­cuss­es how the Trump cam­paign used tech­niques used by the Nazis to tar­get vot­ers. . . .”
8.–Further expo­si­tion of Oakes’ state­ment: ” . . . . Adolf Hitler ‘didn’t have a prob­lem with the Jews at all, but peo­ple didn’t like the Jews,’ he told the aca­d­e­m­ic, Emma L. Bri­ant, a senior lec­tur­er in jour­nal­ism at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Essex. He went on to say that Don­ald J. Trump had done the same thing by tap­ping into griev­ances toward immi­grants and Mus­lims. . . . ‘What hap­pened with Trump, you can for­get all the micro­tar­get­ing and micro­da­ta and what­ev­er, and come back to some very, very sim­ple things,’ he told Dr. Bri­ant. ‘Trump had the balls, and I mean, real­ly the balls, to say what peo­ple want­ed to hear.’ . . .”
9.–Observations about the pos­si­bil­i­ties of Face­book’s goal of hav­ing AI gov­ern­ing the edi­to­r­i­al func­tions of its con­tent: As not­ed in a Pop­u­lar Mechan­ics arti­cle: ” . . . When the next pow­er­ful AI comes along, it will see its first look at the world by look­ing at our faces. And if we stare it in the eyes and shout ‘we’re AWFUL lol,’ the lol might be the one part it doesn’t under­stand. . . .”
10.–Microsoft’s Tay Chat­bot offers a glimpse into this future: As one Twit­ter user not­ed, employ­ing sar­casm: “Tay went from ‘humans are super cool’ to full nazi in <24 hrs and I’m not at all con­cerned about the future of AI.”

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