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The tag 'Cambridge Analytica' is associated with 15 posts.

FTR #1132 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 8: Remdesivir Uber Alles

This broad­cast details the process of vet­ting the anti-Covid-19 drug remde­sivir, high­light­ing the insti­tu­tion­al short­cuts tak­en in test­ing the prod­uct, as well as the dubi­ous nature of the bil­lion­aires net­work­ing with offi­cials involved in the approval process.

Before ana­lyz­ing remde­sivir, how­ev­er, we update dis­cus­sion about the SARS CoV‑2 virus hav­ing been engi­neered, not­ing joint U.S.-Chinese projects in which bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es were genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered. The process­es used to mod­i­fy the virus­es would not show any overt evi­dence of human manip­u­la­tion.

Most impor­tant­ly, these projects received financ­ing from insti­tu­tions with doc­u­ment­ed links to U.S. intel­li­gence and mil­i­tary inter­ests.

Research into the his­to­ry of GOF (gain-of-func­tion) work on bat coro­n­avirus­es at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy indi­cates mul­ti­ple areas of U.S. intel­li­gence pres­ence in that work. 

It was pub­licly dis­closed in a 2017 paper that the US and Chi­na col­lab­o­rat­ed on “gain-of-func­tion” research on bat coro­n­avirus­es to infect humans and that the work received fund­ing from the Unit­ed States Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Development–a fre­quent cut-out for the CIA.

In addi­tion, the work was also fund­ed in part by the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health, which have col­lab­o­rat­ed with both CIA and the Pen­ta­gon in BSL‑4 (Bio-Safe­ty-Lev­el 4) projects. 

The Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy has also part­nered with the USAMRIID since the mid-1980’s.

Impor­tant to note is the fact that it was pub­lic infor­ma­tion that some of this work was done in a biosafe­ty-lev­el 2 lab­o­ra­to­ry, giv­ing an observ­er intent on under­tak­ing a bio­log­i­cal war­fare covert oper­a­tion against Chi­na use­ful field intel­li­gence about the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of WIV for such an “op.”

1.–The inves­ti­ga­tion of infec­tiv­i­ty used unde­tectable meth­ods, negat­ing arti­cles claim­ing the virus could not have been genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered: ” Evi­dence has emerged that researchers at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV) in Chi­na, work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with sci­en­tists in the USA, have been genet­i­cal­ly engi­neer­ing bat virus­es for the past sev­er­al years to inves­ti­gate infec­tiv­i­ty – using unde­tectable meth­ods. . . . The evi­dence rebuts claims by jour­nal­ists and some sci­en­tists that the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus respon­si­ble for the cur­rent COVID-19 pan­dem­ic could not have been genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered because it lacks the ‘signs’ or ‘sig­na­tures’ that sup­pos­ed­ly would be left behind by genet­ic engi­neer­ing tech­niques. . . .”

2.–Dr. Richard Ebright not­ed that the research was joint­ly fund­ed by the U.S. and Chi­na, that Peter Daszak (about whom we have voiced reser­va­tions in the past) was one of the Amer­i­can col­lab­o­ra­tors. Fur­ther­more, the research was fund­ed in part by USAID, a com­mon U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out. ” . . . . Dr Richard Ebright, an infec­tious dis­ease expert at Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty (USA), has alert­ed the pub­lic to evi­dence that WIV and US-based researchers were genet­i­cal­ly engi­neer­ing bat virus­es to inves­ti­gate their abil­i­ty to infect humans, using com­mon­ly used meth­ods that leave no sign or sig­na­ture of human manip­u­la­tion. Ebright flagged up a sci­en­tif­ic paper pub­lished in 2017 by WIV sci­en­tists, includ­ing Shi Zhengli, the virol­o­gist lead­ing the research into bat coro­n­avirus­es, work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Peter Daszak of the US-based Eco­Health Alliance. Fund­ing was shared between Chi­nese and US insti­tu­tions, the lat­ter includ­ing the US Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health and USAID. The researchers report hav­ing con­duct­ed virus infec­tiv­i­ty exper­i­ments where genet­ic mate­r­i­al is com­bined from dif­fer­ent vari­eties of SARS-relat­ed coro­n­avirus­es to form nov­el ‘chimeric’ ver­sions. This formed part of their research into what muta­tions were need­ed to allow cer­tain bat coro­n­avirus­es to bind to the human ACE2 recep­tor – a key step in the human infec­tiv­i­ty of SARS-CoV­‑2. . . .”

3.–Furthermore, the researchers used a type of genet­ic engi­neer­ing that leaves no sig­na­ture of human manip­u­la­tion: ” . . . . The WIV sci­en­tists did this, Ebright points out, ‘using ‘seam­less lig­a­tion’ pro­ce­dures that leave no sig­na­tures of human manip­u­la­tion’. This is note­wor­thy because it is a type of genet­ic engi­neer­ing that Ander­sen and his team exclud­ed from their inves­ti­ga­tion into whether SARS-CoV­‑2 could have been engi­neered – and it was in use at the very lab that is the prime sus­pect for a lab escape. . . .”

4.–In addi­tion, Ebright high­lights the 2015 work done by Ralph Bar­ic in col­lab­o­ra­tion with WIV’s Shi Zhengli–a project we have dis­cussed at length in the past: ” . . . . A group of sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na in the USA, with the WIV’s Shi Zhengli as a col­lab­o­ra­tor, pub­lished a study in 2015 describ­ing sim­i­lar exper­i­ments involv­ing chimeric coro­n­avirus­es, which were also cre­at­ed using stan­dard unde­tectable genet­ic engi­neer­ing tech­niques. . . .”

5.–Ebright also cites work done in a bio-safe­ty lev­el 2 lab­o­ra­to­ry. : ” . . . . Ebright points out that the paper states, ‘All work with the infec­tious virus was per­formed under biosafe­ty lev­el 2 con­di­tions’. This lev­el is suit­able for work involv­ing agents of only ‘mod­er­ate poten­tial haz­ard to per­son­nel and the envi­ron­ment’. . . .But they are not at fault in fail­ing to use BSL‑4 for this work, as SARS coro­n­avirus­es are not aerosol-trans­mit­ted. The work does, how­ev­er, fall under biosafe­ty lev­el 3, which is for work involv­ing microbes that can cause seri­ous and poten­tial­ly lethal dis­ease via inhala­tion. . . .”

6.–Dr. Jonathan Lath­am under­scored the reser­va­tions expressed by many con­cern­ing “gain-of-func­tion” exper­i­ments on these kinds of coro­n­avirus­es: ” . . . . The bio­sci­en­tist Dr Jonathan Lath­am crit­i­cised the kind of research on bat coro­n­avirus­es that has been tak­ing place in Wuhan and the USA as ‘pro­vid­ing an evo­lu­tion­ary oppor­tu­ni­ty’ for such virus­es ‘to jump into humans’. Lath­am, who has a doc­tor­ate in virol­o­gy, argues that this kind of work is sim­ply ‘pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for con­t­a­m­i­na­tion events and leak­ages from labs, which hap­pen on a rou­tine basis’. . . .”

U.S. Army Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Disease–located at Ft. Det­rick and closed by the CDC for safe­ty vio­la­tions in August, 2019.

Note, again, that the whole world was informed back in 2017 that  dan­ger­ous research involv­ing the cre­ation of bat coro­n­avirus­es to infect humans was being car­ried out in Chi­na.  Note again, that the research was fund­ed in part by the US, includ­ing USAID–a fre­quent U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out; the NIH–which has active­ly col­lab­o­rat­ed with both CIA and Pen­ta­gon. The WIV has also part­nered with the USAMRIID.

Flash for­ward a cou­ple of years and we have a night­mare virus that ini­tial­ly appeared to pop up near­by the WIV, with the Trump admin­is­tra­tion aggres­sive­ly push­ing the idea that it escaped from that lab.

In that con­text, we note the fol­low­ing:

1.–In 2017, Chi­na got approval for its first BSL‑4 lab in Wuhan, the first of sev­er­al planned BSL‑4 labs. “A lab­o­ra­to­ry in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dan­ger­ous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and sev­en biosafe­ty level‑4 (BSL‑4) labs across the Chi­nese main­land by 2025, and has gen­er­at­ed much excite­ment, as well as some con­cerns. . . . Some sci­en­tists out­side Chi­na wor­ry about pathogens escap­ing, and the addi­tion of a bio­log­i­cal dimen­sion to geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions between Chi­na and oth­er nations. . . .”

2.–As will be seen below, the pro­lif­er­a­tion of BSL‑4 labs has sparked wor­ries about “dual use” tech­nol­o­gy: ” . . . . The expan­sion of BSL-4-lab net­works in the Unit­ed States and Europe over the past 15 years — with more than a dozen now in oper­a­tion or under con­struc­tion in each region — also met with resis­tance, includ­ing ques­tions about the need for so many facil­i­ties. . . .”

3.–The above-men­tioned Richard Ebright notes that the pro­lif­er­a­tion of BSL‑4 labs will spur sus­pi­cion of “dual use” tech­nol­o­gy, in which osten­si­ble med­ical research masks bio­log­i­cal war­fare research: ” . . . . But Ebright is not con­vinced of the need for more than one BSL‑4 lab in main­land Chi­na. He sus­pects that the expan­sion there is a reac­tion to the net­works in the Unit­ed States and Europe, which he says are also unwar­rant­ed. He adds that gov­ern­ments will assume that such excess capac­i­ty is for the poten­tial devel­op­ment of bioweapons. ‘These facil­i­ties are inher­ent­ly dual use,’ he says. . . .”

In the con­text of the above arti­cles, note that the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health have also part­nered with CIA and the Pen­ta­gon, as under­scored by an arti­cle about a BSL‑4 lab at Boston Uni­ver­si­ty. Note that the U.S. and Europe have twelve BSL4 labs apiece, Tai­wan has two, while Chi­na has one:

1.–As the arti­cle notes, as of 2007, the U.S. had “more than a dozen” BSL4 labs–China com­mis­sioned its first as of 2017. a ten­fold increase in fund­ing for BSL4 labs occurred because of the anthrax attacks of 2001. Those attacks might be seen as some­thing of a provo­ca­tion, spurring a dra­mat­ic increase in “dual use” biowar­fare research, under the cov­er of “legit­i­mate” medical/scientific research. In FTR #1128, we hypoth­e­sized about the milieu of Stephen Hat­fill and apartheid-linked inter­ests as pos­si­ble authors of a vec­tor­ing of New York City with Sars COV2: ” . . . . Before the anthrax mail­ings of 2001, the Unit­ed States had just two BSL4 labs—both with­in the razor-wire con­fines of gov­ern­ment-owned cam­pus­es. Now, thanks to a ten­fold increase in funding—from $200 mil­lion in 2001 to $2 bil­lion in 2006—more than a dozen such facil­i­ties can be found at uni­ver­si­ties and pri­vate com­pa­nies across the coun­try. . . .”

2.–The Boston Uni­ver­si­ty lab exem­pli­fies the Pen­ta­gon and CIA pres­ence in BSL‑4 facil­i­ty “dual use”: ” . . . . But some sci­en­tists say that argu­ment obscures the true pur­pose of the cur­rent biode­fense boom: to study poten­tial bio­log­i­cal weapons. ‘The uni­ver­si­ty por­trays it as an emerg­ing infec­tious dis­ease lab,’ says David Ozonoff, a Boston Uni­ver­si­ty epi­demi­ol­o­gist whose office is right across the street from the new BSL4 facil­i­ty. ‘But they are talk­ing about study­ing things like small pox and inhala­tion anthrax, which pose no pub­lic health threat oth­er than as bioweapons.’ . . . The orig­i­nal NIH man­date for the lab indi­cat­ed that many groups—including the CIA and Depart­ment of Defense—would be allowed to use the lab for their own research, the nature of which BU might have lit­tle con­trol over. . . .”

Note, also that:

1.–The WIV has part­nered with the U.S. Army’s Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Dis­eases, locat­ed at Ft. Det­rick.

2.–In ear­ly August of 2019, short­ly before the record­ed start of the out­break in Wuhan, Chi­na, the U.S. Army Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Dis­eases at that facil­i­ty was closed down by the CDC due to mul­ti­ple safe­ty violations.“All research at a Fort Det­rick lab­o­ra­to­ry that han­dles high-lev­el dis­ease-caus­ing mate­r­i­al, such as Ebo­la, is on hold indef­i­nite­ly after the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion found the orga­ni­za­tion failed to meet biosafe­ty stan­dards. . . . The CDC sent a cease and desist order in July. After USAMRIID received the order from the CDC, its reg­is­tra­tion with the Fed­er­al Select Agent Pro­gram, which over­sees dis­ease-caus­ing mate­r­i­al use and pos­ses­sion, was sus­pend­ed. That sus­pen­sion effec­tive­ly halt­ed all bio­log­i­cal select agents and tox­in research at USAMRIID . . . .”

Fol­low­ing the update on the WIV and BSL‑4 lab­o­ra­to­ries, we piv­ot to analy­sis of the ele­va­tion of remde­sivir as the “go-to” treat­ment du jour for Covid-19. Of para­mount impor­tance is the remark­able time­line: The DSMB (data safe­ty and mon­i­tor­ing board) ” . . . . the DSMB for the remde­sivir study did not ever meet for an inter­im effi­ca­cy analy­sis, Lane said. All patients had been enrolled by April 20. The data for a DSMB meet­ing was cut off on April 22. The DSMB met and, on April 27, it made a rec­om­men­da­tion to the NIAID. . . . That deci­sion, Lane said, led the NIAID to con­clude that patients who had been giv­en place­bo should be offered remde­sivir, some­thing that start­ed hap­pen­ing after April 28. . . .” 

As will be seen, it was on 4/29 that Joe Gro­gan resigned. (See below.)

When pos­i­tive news on a NIAID study on the drug remde­sivir were released–on 4/29–it drove broad gains in the stock mar­ket. In FTR #1131, we not­ed that dis­clo­sures con­cern­ing pos­i­tive news about Mod­er­na’s exper­i­men­tal Covid-19 vac­cine also proved to be a sim­i­lar dri­ver of the stock mar­ket, as well as of Mod­er­na’s stock.

Dis­cus­sion of the hard details of sev­er­al remde­sivir tri­als begins with dis­cus­sion of an NIAID tri­al that helped move the mar­kets, as seen above. The tri­al was a mod­est suc­cess, indi­cat­ing that recov­ery for recent­ly infect­ed patients was about 31% faster than for place­bo. There was no sig­nif­i­cant sta­tis­ti­cal dif­fer­ence in mortality–the most impor­tant mea­sure of effec­tive­ness accord­ing to many experts.

” . . . . Dur­ing an appear­ance along­side Pres­i­dent Trump in the Oval Office, Antho­ny Fau­ci, the direc­tor of NIAID, part of the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health, said the data are a ‘very impor­tant proof of con­cept’ and that there was rea­son for opti­mism. He cau­tioned the data were not a ‘knock­out.’ At the same time, the study achieved its pri­ma­ry goal, which was to improve the time to recov­ery, which was reduced by four days for patients on remde­sivir. The pre­lim­i­nary data showed that the time to recov­ery was 11 days on remde­sivir com­pared to 15 days for place­bo, a 31% decrease. The mor­tal­i­ty rate for the remde­sivir group was 8%, com­pared to 11.6% for the place­bo group; that mor­tal­i­ty dif­fer­ence was not sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. . . .”

Next we present a Stat News arti­cle on the inter­nal delib­er­a­tions behind the deci­sions to mod­i­fy the NIAID study. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the DSMB delib­er­a­tion. Note the time­line of the DSMB delib­er­a­tion, com­bined with the announce­ment on 4/29 that drove the mar­kets high­er.

1.–The deci­sion was made to cut it short before the ques­tion of remdesivir’s impact on mor­tal­i­ty could be answered: ” . . . .The Nation­al Insti­tute of Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases has described to STAT in new detail how it made its fate­ful deci­sion: to start giv­ing remde­sivir to patients who had been assigned to receive a place­bo in the study, essen­tial­ly lim­it­ing researchers’ abil­i­ty to col­lect more data about whether the drug saves lives — some­thing the study, called ACTT‑1, sug­gests but does not prove. In the tri­al, 8% of the par­tic­i­pants giv­en remde­sivir died, com­pared with 11.6% of the place­bo group, a dif­fer­ence that was not sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. A top NIAID offi­cial said he had no regrets about the deci­sion. ‘There cer­tain­ly was una­nim­i­ty with­in the insti­tute that this was the right thing to do,’ said H. Clif­ford Lane, NIAID’s clin­i­cal direc­tor. . . .”

2.–In addi­tion, patients sched­uled to receive place­bo received remde­sivir, instead. ” . . . . Steven Nis­sen, a vet­er­an tri­al­ist and car­di­ol­o­gist at the Cleve­land Clin­ic, dis­agreed that giv­ing place­bo patients remde­sivir was the right call. ‘I believe it is in society’s best inter­est to deter­mine whether remde­sivir can reduce mor­tal­i­ty, and with the release of this infor­ma­tion doing a place­bo-con­trolled tri­al to deter­mine if there is a mor­tal­i­ty ben­e­fit will be very dif­fi­cult,’ he said. ‘The ques­tion is: Was there a route, or is there a route, to deter­mine if the drug can pre­vent death?’ The deci­sion is ‘a lost oppor­tu­ni­ty,’ he said. . . .”

3.–Steven Nis­sen was not alone in his crit­i­cism of the NIAID’s deci­sion. ” . . . .Peter Bach, the direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Health Pol­i­cy and Out­comes at Memo­r­i­al Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter, agreed with Nis­sen. ‘The core under­stand­ing of clin­i­cal research par­tic­i­pa­tion and clin­i­cal research con­duct is we run the tri­al rig­or­ous­ly to pro­vide the most accu­rate infor­ma­tion about the right treat­ment,’ he said. And that answer, he argued, should ide­al­ly have deter­mined whether remde­sivir saves lives. The rea­son we have shut our whole soci­ety down, Bach said, is not to pre­vent Covid-19 patients from spend­ing a few more days in the hos­pi­tal. It is to pre­vent patients from dying. ‘Mor­tal­i­ty is the right end­point,’ he said. . . .”

4.–Not only was the admin­is­tra­tion of remde­sivir instead of place­bo pri­or­i­tized, but the NIAID study itself was atten­u­at­ed! ” . . . . But the change in the study’s main goal also changed the way the study would be ana­lyzed. Now, the NIAID decid­ed, the analy­sis would be cal­cu­lat­ed when 400 patients out of the 1,063 patients the study enrolled had recov­ered. If remde­sivir turned out to be much more effec­tive than expect­ed, ‘inter­im’ analy­ses would be con­duct­ed at a third and two-thirds that number.The job of review­ing these analy­ses would fall to a com­mit­tee of out­side experts on what is known as an inde­pen­dent data and safe­ty mon­i­tor­ing board, or DSMB. . . .”

5.–The per­for­mance of the DSMB for the remde­sivir study is note­wor­thy: ” . . . . But the DSMB for the remde­sivir study did not ever meet for an inter­im effi­ca­cy analy­sis, Lane said. All patients had been enrolled by April 20. The data for a DSMB meet­ing was cut off on April 22. The DSMB met and, on April 27, it made a rec­om­men­da­tion to the NIAID. . . .”

6.–The DSMB meet­ing on 4/27 deter­mined the switch from place­bo to remde­sivir. Of para­mount impor­tance is the fact that this was JUST BEFORE the 4/29 announce­ment that drove the mar­kets high­er and the same day on which key Trump aide–and for­mer Gilead Sci­ences lob­by­ist Joe Gro­gan resigned! ” . . . . . That deci­sion, Lane said, led the NIAID to con­clude that patients who had been giv­en place­bo should be offered remde­sivir, some­thing that start­ed hap­pen­ing after April 28. . . .”

7.–Dr. Ethan Weiss gave an accu­rate eval­u­a­tion of the NIAID study: ” . . . . ‘We’ve squan­dered an incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty to do good sci­ence,’ [Dr. Ethan] Weiss said. ‘If we could ever go back and do some­thing all over, it would be the infra­struc­ture to actu­al­ly learn some­thing. Because we’re not learn­ing enough.’ . . . .”

Next, we ana­lyze a STAT News excerpt that goes into more of the con­cerns about the Gilead study design.

The Gilead study was designed with­out any con­trol group, so the ques­tion of how much remde­sivir actu­al­ly helps sick patients (or doesn’t help) can’t be defin­i­tive­ly answered by that study.

The arti­cle also gives Gilead’s expla­na­tion for why they left out a con­trol group: due to the lim­it­ed sup­plies of the drug the com­pa­ny decid­ed to pri­or­i­tize on pro­duc­ing more of the drug itself rather than a place­bo con­trol. It’s an expla­na­tion that only makes sense if pro­duc­ing place­bo dos­es was some­how a sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal chal­lenge, which seems dubi­ous.

Due to a lack of a con­trol group, the study instead focus­es on answer­ing the ques­tion of whether or not the recov­ery times for patients dif­fers between groups receiv­ing a 10-day course of the drug vs a 5‑day course. The patients were severe­ly ill but not on ven­ti­la­tors when enrolled in the study (so the patients that need the drug most weren’t test­ed). The pre­lim­i­nary results released Wednes­day sug­gest there is no dif­fer­ence between the recov­ery times for the two groups.

1.–The Gilead study lacked a con­trol group: ” . . . .  But out­side experts in clin­i­cal tri­al design wor­ry that the results, instead of lead­ing to a clear pic­ture of whether the med­i­cine is effec­tive, will instead mud­dy the waters fur­ther. The main con­cern, they say, stems from the fact that the Gilead tri­al expect­ed to read out this week, which was con­duct­ed among patients with severe dis­ease, lacks a con­trol group — that is, patients who are ran­dom­ly assigned to receive the best treat­ment avail­able, but not remde­sivir. As designed, the only ran­dom­iza­tion is the dura­tion of treat­ment: either five days or 10 days of drug. With­out a true con­trol group of patients, many experts say, it will be dif­fi­cult to deter­mine whether remde­sivir is effec­tive. . . .”

2.–The above-men­tioned Steven Nis­sen summed up the use­ful­ness of the Gilead tri­al. ” . . . . ‘The over­all study itself has lit­tle or no sci­en­tif­ic val­ue since all patients are receiv­ing the drug,’ said Steven Nis­sen, the chief aca­d­e­m­ic offi­cer at the Cleve­land Clin­ic and lead inves­ti­ga­tor of many tri­als for heart drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion. ‘The study, as designed, is essen­tial­ly use­less and can­not be used by the FDA for con­sid­er­a­tion of remde­sivir for approval to treat coro­n­avirus,’ Nis­sen said. . . .”

3.–Gilead’s spokesper­son alleged that the com­pa­ny had a lim­it­ed sup­ply of place­bo and remde­sivir. ” . . . . ‘In the ear­ly stages of the pan­dem­ic, we not only had a lim­it­ed sup­ply of remde­sivir but also a lim­it­ed sup­ply of the matched place­bo required for place­bo-con­trolled stud­ies,’ said Amy Flood, a Gilead spokesper­son. ‘We chose to pri­or­i­tize man­u­fac­tur­ing active drug over place­bo, and we pro­vid­ed our sup­ply of place­bo to Chi­na and NIAID for their stud­ies of remde­sivir.’ . . .”

5.–A num­ber of crit­ics shared Steven Nis­sen’s opin­ion about the sci­en­tif­ic val­ue of the study. ” . . . . Crit­ics point to Gilead’s deci­sion to com­pare two groups giv­en remde­sivir for either five days or 10 days. The prob­lem with this strat­e­gy, they say, is that an inef­fec­tive drug that did noth­ing and a very effec­tive drug that con­sis­tent­ly helped patients over­come the virus would look the same in such a study. Only if the 10-day course were more effec­tive, or if it was worse because of side effects, would the study have any clear result. . . .”

6.–Nissen was more opti­mistic about a sec­ond forth­com­ing Gilead tri­al. Sloan Ket­ter­ing’s Peter Bach did not share that opti­mism. ” . . . .Yet anoth­er tri­al in less sick patients, also run by Gilead, does have a con­trol group and may give a clear­er answer. Nis­sen sees ‘a rea­son­able study design.’ But Bach was more crit­i­cal, say­ing that even though that study has a con­trol group, the lack of a place­bo means the study might not be trust­wor­thy. That’s because its main goal, time to improve­ment of symp­toms, could be affect­ed by the per­cep­tions of clin­i­cians and the patients them­selves. Bach said the hos­pi­tals con­duct­ing the study ‘are eas­i­ly capa­ble of wrap­ping syringes in brown paper and blind­ing the whole thing. I don’t under­stand why you would run a tri­al like this.’ . . . .”

Although it was cut short due to the wan­ing of the pan­dem­ic in Chi­na, a WHO-leaked study was not encour­ag­ing with regard to remde­sivir’s effi­ca­cy as a treat­ment for Covid-19.

1.–The Chi­nese study was a ram­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al: ” . . . . Encour­ag­ing data from patients in that study at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go were described by researchers at a vir­tu­al town hall and obtained by STAT last week. How­ev­er, unlike those data, these new results are from a ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al, the med­ical gold stan­dard. . . .”

2.–The Chi­nese study found that remde­sivir was of no val­ue in pre­vent­ing Covid-19 deaths. As not­ed above, the effect of the drug on mor­tal­i­ty was the main con­sid­er­a­tion. Our soci­ety has not been shut down to afford peo­ple short­er stays in the hos­pi­tal, but to pre­vent death. ” . . . . Accord­ing to the sum­ma­ry of the Chi­na study, remde­sivir was ‘not asso­ci­at­ed with a dif­fer­ence in time to clin­i­cal improve­ment’ com­pared to a stan­dard of care con­trol. After one month, it appeared 13.9% of the remde­sivir patients had died com­pared to 12.8% of patients in the con­trol arm. The dif­fer­ence was not sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. . . .”

3.–The Chi­nese study pro­duced a grim assess­ment of remde­sivir: ” . . . . ‘In this study of hos­pi­tal­ized adult patients with severe COVID-19 that was ter­mi­nat­ed pre­ma­ture­ly, remde­sivir was not asso­ci­at­ed with clin­i­cal or viro­log­i­cal ben­e­fits,’ the sum­ma­ry states. The study was ter­mi­nat­ed pre­ma­ture­ly because it was dif­fi­cult to enroll patients in Chi­na, where the num­ber of Covid-19 cas­es was decreas­ing. An out­side researcher said that the results mean that any ben­e­fit from remde­sivir is like­ly to be small. ‘If there is no ben­e­fit to remde­sivir in a study this size, this sug­gests that the over­all ben­e­fit of remde­sivir in this pop­u­la­tion with advanced infec­tion is like­ly to be small in the larg­er Gilead tri­al,’ said Andrew Hill, senior vis­it­ing research fel­low at Liv­er­pool Uni­ver­si­ty. . . .”

After dis­cussing a num­ber of prob­lems that Gilead Sci­ences may encounter in the pro­duc­tion of sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ties of remde­sivir to be effec­tive, the broad­cast con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of the inap­pro­pri­ate­ly-named “Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19.”

The remark­able han­dling of the NIAID study, the tim­ing of the announce­ment of the alto­geth­er lim­it­ed suc­cess of the atten­u­at­ed tri­al, and the rise in equi­ties as a result of the announce­ment may be best under­stood in the con­text of the role played in Trump pan­dem­ic deci­sion-mak­ing by an elite group of bil­lion­aires and scientists–including Peter Thiel and con­vict­ed felon Michael Milken (the “junk bond king”).

1.–” . . . . Call­ing them­selves ‘Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19,’ the col­lec­tion of top researchers, bil­lion­aires and indus­try cap­tains will act as an ‘ad hoc review board’ for the tor­rent of coro­n­avirus research, ‘weed­ing out’ flawed data before it reach­es pol­i­cy­mak­ers, the Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed on Mon­day. They are also act­ing as a go-between for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies seek­ing to build a com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel with Trump admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials. The group . . . . has advised Nick Ayers, an aide to Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, as well as oth­er agency heads, in the past month. Pence is head­ing up the White House coro­n­avirus task force. . . .”

2.–” . . . The brainy bunch is led by Thomas Cahill, a 33-year-old doc­tor who became a ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist . . . . Cahill’s clout comes from build­ing con­nec­tions through his invest­ment firm, New­path Part­ners, with Sil­i­con Valley’s Peter Thiel, the founder of Pay­Pal, and bil­lion­aire busi­ness­men Jim Palot­ta and Michael Milken. . . .”

Note that Thiel played a dom­i­nant role in bankrolling New­path Part­ners, and the oth­er finan­cial angel who ele­vat­ed Cahill–Brian Sheth–introduced him to Tom­my Hicks, Jr., the co-chair­man of the RNC. In FTR #‘s 1111 and 1112, we looked at Hicks’ net­work­ing with Steve Ban­non asso­ciate J. Kyle Bass, as well as his role in the inter-agency net­works dri­ving the anti-Chi­na effort.

1.–” . . . . At the helm of the effort: The 33-year-old and very-much-under-the-radar ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Tom Cahill, who leads life sci­ences-focused New­path Part­ners. Cahill com­plet­ed his M.D. and PhD at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty a mere two years ago before land­ing at blue-chip invest­ment firm Rap­tor Group through a friend. He went on to found New­path with some $125 mil­lion after impress­ing well-con­nect­ed names like ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Peter Thiel and Vista Equi­ty Part­ners co-founder Bri­an Sheth. . . . It was through Sheth, for exam­ple, that Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19 con­nect­ed with the co-chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee, Thomas Hicks Jr. . . .”

The fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s extreme focus on remde­sivir has been shaped, in large mea­sure, by the influ­ence of “Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19”:

1.–“Scientists to Stop Covid-19” is shep­herd­ing remde­sivir: ” . . . . Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19 rec­om­mends that in this phase, the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) should work to coor­di­nate with Gilead phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals to focus on expe­dit­ing the results of clin­i­cal tri­als of remde­sivir, a drug iden­ti­fied as a poten­tial treat­ment for COVID-19. The group also rec­om­mends admin­is­ter­ing dos­es of the drug to patients in an ear­ly stage of infec­tion, and notes remde­sivir will essen­tial­ly be a place­hold­er until a more effec­tive treat­ment is pro­duced.

2.–The group is doing so by atten­u­at­ing the reg­u­la­to­ry process for coro­n­avirus drugs: “Gov­ern­ment enti­ties and agen­cies appear to adhere to the rec­om­men­da­tions out­lined by the group, with the Jour­nal report­ing that the FDA and the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs (VA) have imple­ment­ed some of the sug­ges­tions, name­ly relax­ing drug man­u­fac­tur­er reg­u­la­tions and require­ments for poten­tial coro­n­avirus treat­ment drugs. . . .”

We con­clude with a piece about the announce­ment of Grogan’s depar­ture.

” . . . . Gro­gan has served as the direc­tor of the White House Domes­tic Pol­i­cy Coun­cil since Feb­ru­ary 2019, over­see­ing a broad array of pol­i­cy issues includ­ing health care and reg­u­la­tion. . . . Gro­gan was one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the White House coro­n­avirus task force launched in late Jan­u­ary. . . . Gro­gan worked as a lob­by­ist for drug com­pa­ny Gilead Sci­ences before join­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. . . .”

The depar­ture was announced in the Wall Street Jour­nal on the morn­ing of Wednes­day, April 29, the same day we got our first pub­lic reports of the NIAID clin­i­cal tri­al of remde­sivir that was pos­i­tive enough to show it short­ened the time to recov­ery and the same day the FDA grant­ed remde­sivir emer­gency use sta­tus. 

Note, again, the tim­ing of the DSM­B’s actions, as well as the imflu­ence of “Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19.”


FTR #1116 Update on The Chinese Winter and the Coronavirus “Bio-Psy-Op”

In our ongo­ing series about the Covid-19 break­out and the Chi­nese win­ter, we have dis­cussed the dam­age the break­out has done to the Chi­nese econ­o­my, our belief that the out­break is part of a desta­bi­liza­tion effort against Chi­na, and the invest­ments of Steve Ban­non asso­ciate J. Kyle Bass and, in turn, Bass’s polit­i­cal asso­ci­a­tion and prob­a­ble co-invest­ment posi­tion with Trump asso­ciate Tom­my Hicks, Jr.

Posi­tioned to prof­it as a result of a Chi­nese eco­nom­ic down­turn, Bass and Hicks may  well be prof­it­ing from Chi­na’s eco­nom­ic prob­lems, which are grow­ing more severe as a result of the out­break.

Now, many Chi­nese firms say they can­not pay their work­ers their full salaries–a devel­op­ment that will fur­ther strain the Chi­nese econ­o­my.

NB: With the eco­nom­ic con­se­quences of the out­break spread­ing glob­al­ly, Bass, Hicks et al would not nec­es­sar­i­ly have to be invest­ed in Chi­nese equi­ties to prof­it enor­mous­ly from this event.

New bank loans in Chi­na hit a record high in Jan­u­ary, reflect­ing the grow­ing need for cash to keep the busi­ness­es oper­at­ing and employ­ees  paid. The PBOC, China’s cen­tral bank, also cut its bench­mark lend­ing rate today as part of a push to ease the financ­ing costs for busi­ness. As the arti­cle notes, small and rur­al banks are most at risk–a stress test last year by the PBOC found that 13 per­cent of banks were con­sid­ered “high risk”.

As not­ed below, Tom­my Hicks brought in J. Kyle Bass to lec­ture to inter­a­gency gov­ern­ment net­works about Chi­na’s bank­ing sys­tem.

We review the fact that Bass is close to, and may well be a co-investor with, Tom­my Hicks Jr., a key mem­ber of Team Trump. Hicks, Com­merce Sec­re­tary Wilbur Ross and nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials are, in turn, work­ing to deny Chi­nese elec­tron­ics firm Huawei access to devel­op­ing 5G net­works, fur­ther ham­string­ing the Chi­nese econ­o­my.

Paul Krug­man, among oth­ers, has not­ed that Wilbur Ross was open­ly cel­e­brat­ing the coro­n­avirus as a boon to the Unit­ed States.

We high­light key aspects of this dis­cus­sion:
1.–Hicks is not a gov­ern­ment offi­cial but has access to high-lev­el gov­ern­men­tal process, includ­ing (appar­ent­ly) CIA activ­i­ties. ” . . . . Tom­my Hicks Jr., 41, isn’t a gov­ern­ment offi­cial; he’s a wealthy pri­vate investor. And he has been a part of dis­cus­sions relat­ed to Chi­na and tech­nol­o­gy with top offi­cials from the Trea­sury Depart­ment, Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, Com­merce Depart­ment and oth­ers, accord­ing to emails and doc­u­ments obtained by ProP­ub­li­ca. In one email, Hicks refers to a meet­ing at ‘Lan­g­ley,’ an appar­ent ref­er­ence to the CIA’s head­quar­ters. . . .”
2.–Hicks has used his posi­tion to arrange for J. Kyle Bass to net­work with gov­ern­ment agen­cies and offi­cials. Bear in mind that Bass is posi­tioned to ben­e­fit from a down­turn in Chi­na’s econ­o­my. ” . . . . Hicks used his con­nec­tions to arrange for a hedge fund man­ag­er friend, Kyle Bass — who has $143 mil­lion in invest­ments that will pay off if China’s econ­o­my tanks — to present his views on the Chi­nese econ­o­my to high-lev­el gov­ern­ment offi­cials at an inter­a­gency meet­ing at the Trea­sury Depart­ment, accord­ing to the doc­u­ments. . . .”
3.–Hicks and Bass have invest­ed togeth­er since 2011. ” . . . . Bass pre­sent­ed his views on China’s bank­ing sys­tem in the office of Heath Tar­bert, an assis­tant sec­re­tary at Trea­sury in charge of inter­na­tion­al mar­kets and invest­ment pol­i­cy and a pow­er­ful inter­gov­ern­men­tal com­mit­tee that reviews for­eign invest­ments in the U.S. for nation­al secu­ri­ty con­cerns. Among the offi­cials at the meet­ing with Tar­bert were Bill Hin­man, the direc­tor of the divi­sion of cor­po­ra­tion finance at the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion, and Ray Wash­burne, a wealthy Dal­las restau­rant own­er and fam­i­ly friend of Hicks’ who was nom­i­nat­ed by Trump to head the Over­seas Pri­vate Invest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion. Hicks and Bass, both Dal­las res­i­dents and long­time denizens of the finan­cial com­mu­ni­ty there, have invest­ed togeth­er since at least 2011, accord­ing to secu­ri­ties fil­ings and court records. . . .”
4.–Hicks did not deny that he par­tic­i­pat­ed in Bass’s funds, but was eva­sive.” . . . . But it’s not clear if Hicks or his fam­i­ly have an invest­ment in Bass’ Chi­na-relat­ed funds. Reached twice on his cell­phone, Hicks declined to be inter­viewed by ProP­ub­li­ca. In the sec­ond call, in June, Hicks didn’t dis­pute that he and his fam­i­ly have invest­ed in Bass’ funds. But when asked to detail their busi­ness rela­tion­ship, he cut the con­ver­sa­tion short. . . . ”
5.–Bass has a his­to­ry of bet­ting against trends that will turn down­ward, hav­ing made his for­tune on the 2008 crash. ” . . . . Bass, who made his name and for­tune by bet­ting against sub­prime mort­gages before the crash and is known for large bets that economies or cer­tain macro trends will turn down­ward, declined to com­ment. . . .”
6.–Official review did not exam­ine pos­si­ble busi­ness rela­tion­ships between Hicks and Bass. ” . . . . An admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial briefed on the Bass meet­ing at the Trea­sury down­played it as ‘strict­ly a lis­ten­ing ses­sion.’ . . . . He acknowl­edged that the review didn’t include an exam­i­na­tion of any finan­cial rela­tion­ship between Hicks and Bass. . . .”
7.–Bass is posi­tioned to main­tain “mas­sive asym­me­try” to down turns in Hong Kong and Chi­na, in oth­er words, he will ben­e­fit if they go down. ” . . . . Bass has become a vocal advo­cate for an aggres­sive U.S. pol­i­cy toward Chi­na. On Twit­ter and on cable busi­ness chan­nels he’s denounced every­thing from the country’s Com­mu­nist Par­ty gov­ern­ment to its busi­ness prac­tices. Secu­ri­ties fil­ings show Bass raised $143 mil­lion from about 81 investors in two funds — invest­ments that would ben­e­fit if China’s cur­ren­cy were deval­ued or the coun­try faced cred­it or bank­ing crises. In April, in a let­ter to his investors, Bass wrote that his com­pa­ny, Hay­man Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, was posi­tioned for com­ing prob­lems in Hong Kong and was set up to ‘main­tain a mas­sive asym­me­try to a neg­a­tive out­come in Hong Kong and/or Chi­na.’ . . . ”
Next, we turn to dis­cus­sion of the pos­si­ble manip­u­la­tion of the virus to make it com­mu­ni­ca­ble through air­borne trans­mis­sion, sim­i­lar to the trans­mis­sion of influen­za.

Researchers found that lev­els of the virus increased soon after symp­toms first appeared, with high­er amounts in the nose than in the throats–more con­sis­tent with influen­za than SARS. Of the 18 patients they exam­ined, one had mod­er­ate lev­els in their nose and throat but no symp­toms. Peo­ple who are asymp­to­matic can still spread the virus. It’s this com­bi­na­tion of air­borne trans­mis­sion and asymp­to­matic patients who are still shed­ding the virus that makes this a par­tic­u­lar­ly infec­tious dis­ease.

This sud­den anom­alous (for SARS-like coro­n­avirus­es) new abil­i­ty to infect the upper res­pi­ra­to­ry tract, of course, brings up chill­ing exper­i­ments in which researchers mod­i­fied the H5N1 bird flu virus to become capa­ble of air­borne trans­mis­sions between fer­rets. That research was banned by the NIH fol­low­ing pub­lic out­cry but resumed in ear­ly 2019. The orig­i­nal 2012 study specif­i­cal­ly found that it was the genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered muta­tions that gave the virus the abil­i­ty to infect the upper res­pi­ra­to­ry tracts of the fer­rets. We have yet to hear if the SAR-CoV­‑2 virus had the same or sim­i­lar muta­tions to those that were induced in the H5N1 bird flu virus exper­i­ment but it seems like­ly.

Thus, the infec­tious­ness of the SARS-CoV­‑2 coro­n­avirus is unprece­dent­ed based on this new study. As one immu­nol­o­gist put it, “This virus is clear­ly much more capa­ble of spread­ing between humans than any oth­er nov­el coro­n­avirus we’ve ever seen. This is more akin to the spread of flu”.

The virus can also be spread through human fecal mate­r­i­al from an infect­ed per­son.

Yet anoth­er spec­u­la­tive ele­ment of dis­cus­sion con­cerns a cult/church in South Korea which is the epi­cen­ter of a burst of cas­es in that coun­try. A reput­ed pres­ence of a branch of the orga­ni­za­tion is in Wuhan, which has direct­ed dis­cus­sion in the direc­tion of the virus hav­ing migrat­ed from Hubei province to South Korea.

Against the back­ground of Uni­fi­ca­tion Church activ­i­ty dur­ing the Cold War, in con­nec­tion with CIA, in con­nec­tion with the fas­cist pow­er elite in Japan that is con­tin­u­ous with that coun­try’s activ­i­ties dur­ing World War II, we won­der about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of the use of this cult as a vec­tor­ing agent.

Might it be pos­si­ble that it was used to intro­duce the virus into Chi­na in the first place?

As will be high­light­ed in future pro­grams, there appear to be operational/networking links between the Shin­cheon­ji and the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church, as well as doc­tri­nal sim­i­lar­i­ties.


FTR #1113 and FTR #1114 The Chinese Winter: Weaponized Media, Social Media and the Coronavirus Biowarfare Psy-Op Parts 1 and 2

The first pro­gram begins with review of the con­clu­sion of FTR #1112, not­ing the repet­i­tive, drum­roll of arti­cles about the eco­nom­ic effects of the coro­n­avirus on the Chi­nese, U.S. and glob­al econ­o­my, this in the con­text of Steve Ban­non’s links to Guo Wen­gui, J. Kyle Bass and–through Bass–to Tom­my Hicks, Jr. (This was cov­ered at length and in detail in FTR #‘s 1111 and 1112.)

Steve Bannon–one of the lumi­nar­ies of the “Alt-Right,” and a for­mer key Trump aide is cen­tral­ly involved in the anti-Chi­na effort. Note Ban­non’s role in the “Get Chi­na” move­ment and the man­ner in which Wash­ing­ton is being pos­sessed by this: ” . . . . Fear of Chi­na has spread across the gov­ern­ment, from the White House to Con­gress to fed­er­al agen­cies, where Beijing’s rise is unques­tion­ing­ly viewed as an eco­nom­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty threat and the defin­ing chal­lenge of the 21st cen­tu­ry. ‘These are two sys­tems that are incom­pat­i­ble,’ Mr. Ban­non said of the Unit­ed States and Chi­na. ‘One side is going to win, and one side is going to lose.’ . . . .”

Next, the pro­gram under­takes a review of cir­cum­stances that sug­gest the pos­si­bil­i­ty of investor activ­i­ty by peo­ple linked to Steve Ban­non, who is at the epi­cen­ter of the anti-Chi­na effort. Ban­non has been the ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the enor­mous wealth of the bril­liant, eccen­tric investor Robert Mer­cer. Mer­cer has used AI-direct­ed invest­ment pro­jec­tion to afford a 70% return for his hedge fund.

We won­der if he might have had fore­knowl­edge of the coro­n­avirus out­break? IF that was the case, this would have enabled him to have made a great deal of mon­ey on the tor­pe­do­ing of the Chi­nese econ­o­my as may well be the case for J. Kyle Bass. On the oth­er side of the coin is Mercer’s/Renaissance Tech­nolo­gies’ enor­mous invest­ment in Gilead Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

IF Gilead­’s remde­sivir does prove to be the “go-to” treat­ment for coro­n­avirus, that firm stands to make a great deal of mon­ey, as would Mercer/Renaissance Tech­nolo­gies. NB: The infor­ma­tion from Dr. Mer­co­la’s post should be fac­tored in to the infor­ma­tion about invest­ing and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of short-sell­ing and/or oth­er types of maneu­ver­ing to prof­it from this cri­sis. Equi­ty mar­kets are very respon­sive to sug­ges­tion, accu­rate or fala­cious. We note that the hys­te­ria allud­ed to in the post by Dr. Mer­co­la may well con­tribute to the steep decline in mar­kets.

Chi­na, of course, has shut down much of its infra­struc­ture to com­bat the virus. That is con­tribut­ing, obvi­ous­ly. To what extent they, too, are respond­ing to hys­te­ria is an open ques­tion. We also won­der if they know some­thing we don’t. Media have fea­tured pic­tures of Chi­nese per­son­nel in pro­tec­tive cloth­ing fumi­gat­ing pub­lic facil­i­ties. We won­der if they are pro­tect­ing against rodents or oth­er ani­mals spread­ing the virus. Note the ref­er­ence in the post by Dr. Mer­co­la.

Chi­na has begun test­ing of Gilead­’s remde­sivir. IF, for the sake of argu­ment, Gilead­’s remde­sivir becomes the “go-to” treat­ment for the coro­n­avirus, Gilead–and Mercer–will make a great deal of mon­ey. Chi­na is a huge mar­ket and the drug will find mar­kets else­where, as well. Note that a Chi­nese gov­ern­ment research facil­i­ty has applied for a patent on the drug.

We find it curi­ous that Amer­i­can media out­lets have remained silent on such a promis­ing ther­a­peu­tic reg­i­men. Reuters report­ed it, as did Agence France Presse. These are major wire ser­vices. Why not Amer­i­can media out­lets?

Indica­tive of the “Chick­en Lit­tle journalism”–weaponzed jour­nal­ism– that char­ac­ter­izes the U.S. news media is the lack of cov­er­age of the Amer­i­can flu epi­dem­ic of 2017–2018. Con­trast the sta­tis­tics about the 2017–2018 flu epi­dem­ic in this coun­try with the sta­tis­tics about coro­n­avirus. In this coun­try, 45 mil­lion caught the flu. Accord­ing to the CDC, 80,000 of them died. 

Next, we read in full an Op-Ed col­umn by Rosie Spinks–a rare island of bal­ance and san­i­ty in The New York Times’ cov­er­age of this event. In addi­tion to not­ing the effects of the coro­n­avirus on the eco­nom­ics of the trav­el indus­try, Rosie Spinks notes the dra­con­ian reac­tion of the U.S. State Depart­ment. Ms. Spinks tales stock of the rel­a­tive­ly mild nature of the virus. ” . . . . Numer­ous experts have said that the major­i­ty of peo­ple who con­tract coro­n­avirus will expe­ri­ence it as a res­pi­ra­to­ry infec­tion they will ful­ly recov­er from. But the extreme reac­tions — the can­cel­ing of flights, clos­ing of bor­ders and lev­el-four trav­el warn­ings — seem more appro­pri­ate for some­thing much worse. . . .”

Because it screens points of entry for MERS coro­n­avirus infec­tion because of its cit­i­zens who make the Haj pil­grim­age to Mec­ca, Indone­sia has no record­ed cas­es. In the col­umn cit­ed above, Ms. Spinks not­ed the effec­tive­ness of the kind of pro­phy­lac­tic screen­ing mea­sures tak­en by Indone­sia: ” . . . . Mea­sures like screen­ing at air­ports, quar­an­ti­ning cruise ships or flights with con­firmed cas­es and iso­lat­ing com­mu­ni­ties at the cen­ter of an out­break can be effec­tive, said Erin Sor­rell, an assis­tant research pro­fes­sor at George­town Uni­ver­si­ty who stud­ies emerg­ing infec­tious dis­eases. . . .”

The out­break has occurred in the con­text of what we have called a “Full Court Press” against Chi­na.

Head­ed by “ex” CIA offi­cer William Barr, the Jus­tice Depart­ment has charged Chi­nese per­son­nel with hav­ing hacked the Equifax cred­it report­ing agen­cies. The Chi­nese have denied this. It will be inter­est­ing to see if the U.S. deploys cyber-weapon­ry on Chi­nese com­put­er and inter­net sys­tems, as it has in Rus­sia. In turn, it will be inter­est­ing to see if the “Full Court Press” strat­e­gy encom­pass­es the sab­o­tag­ing of Chi­nese nuclear pow­er plants, Project HAARP envi­ron­men­tal mod­i­fi­ca­tion war­fare or oth­er dra­con­ian mea­sures.

The CIA’s hack­ing tools are specif­i­cal­ly craft­ed to mask CIA author­ship of the attacks. Most sig­nif­i­cant­ly, for our the pur­pos­es of the present dis­cus­sion, is the fact that the Agen­cy’s hack­ing tools are engi­neered in such a way as to per­mit the authors of the event to rep­re­sent them­selves as Chi­nese. ” . . . . These tools could make it more dif­fi­cult for anti-virus com­pa­nies and foren­sic inves­ti­ga­tors to attribute hacks to the CIA. Could this call the source of pre­vi­ous hacks into ques­tion? It appears that yes, this might be used to dis­guise the CIA’s own hacks to appear as if they were Russ­ian, Chi­nese, or from spe­cif­ic oth­er coun­tries. . . . This might allow a mal­ware cre­ator to not only look like they were speak­ing in Russ­ian or Chi­nese, rather than in Eng­lish, but to also look like they tried to hide that they were not speak­ing Eng­lish . . . .”

Piv­ot­ing to what Mr. Emory has termed the “weaponized media cov­er­age” of the coro­n­avirus out­break, we note The New York Times’ stun­ning­ly slant­ed cov­er­age of the 2016 cam­paign.

Before dis­cussing Allen Dulles and his rela­tion­ship to “The New York Times,” we set forth events illus­trat­ing the fun­da­men­tal place of Sul­li­van & Cromwell in the devel­op­ment of Amer­i­can Big Mon­ey. Both Allen Dulles and John Fos­ter Dulles worked for Sul­li­van & Cromwell.

A now famous arti­cle by Carl Bern­stein (of Water­gate fame) focus­es on CIA pres­ence in major U.S. media. We note, here, the deep his­tor­i­cal and polit­i­cal rela­tion­ship between Allen Dulles and The New York Times’s Arthur Hays Sulzberg­er. This, again, by way of back­ground to the weaponized cov­er­age of the coro­n­avirus out­break.

In in his 1985 vol­ume “Amer­i­can Swasti­ka,” the late author Charles High­am pro­vides us with insight into the Chris­t­ian West con­cept, reveal­ing the extent to which these SS/OSS nego­ti­a­tions set the tem­plate for the post-World War II world, as well as the degree of res­o­nance that key Amer­i­cans, such as Allen Dulles, had with Nazi ide­ol­o­gy, anti-Semi­tism in par­tic­u­lar. Weigh­ing the long, pro­found rela­tion­ship between Dulles and The Times, this is pre­sent­ed as some­thing of a “nav­i­ga­tion­al aid” to analy­sis of the weaponized cov­er­age of the virus.

In the con­text of Allen Dulles’s ori­en­ta­tion and his rela­tion­ship with The New York Times, we present a look at The New York Times’ use of a Third Reich alum­nus named Paul Hof­mann as a for­eign cor­re­spon­dent, serv­ing as chief of The Times’ Rome bureau, and cov­er­ing the Gray Lady’s cov­er­age of the CIA’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the over­throw of Patrice Lumum­ba.

The pro­gram con­cludes with an item pre­sent­ed in our land­mark series of inter­views with the bril­liant Jim DiEu­ge­nio about Des­tiny Betrayed.

Noth­ing illus­trates this coun­try’s media and their will­ing­ness to dis­tort infor­ma­tion than the NBC tele­vi­sion broad­cast arranged by Wal­ter Sheri­dan.  Sheri­dan is a career intel­li­gence offi­cer, with rela­tion­ship with the Office of Naval Intel­li­gence, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.

Exem­pli­fy­ing Sheri­dan’s method­ol­o­gy was the treat­ment met­ed out to Fred Lee­mans, who was the cli­mac­tic per­son inter­viewed by Sheri­dan in his spe­cial. Note the open intim­i­da­tion of Lee­mans and his fam­i­ly, threat­en­ing them if they did not per­jure them­selves, betray Gar­ri­son, and coop­er­ate with both Sheri­dan and Clay Shaw’s coun­sel! This is rem­i­nis­cent of the treat­ment of Mar­lene Man­cu­so detailed in our pre­vi­ous inter­view.


FTR #1111 and FTR #1112 Update on the Alleged “Suicide” of Iris Chang and the Destabilization of China and “BioWarfare-Psy-Op” Against China?

This descrip­tion encom­pass­es mate­r­i­al for two pro­grams. Fol­low­ing up on FTR #‘s 1107 and 1108, we high­light a San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle arti­cle about the alleged sui­cide of Iris Chang, a sug­ges­tive, impor­tant detail was noticed by a sharp-eyed listener/reader. A detail about the phys­i­cal cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Iris’s “sui­cide” suggests–strongly–that she did not pull the trig­ger her­self. Her body was dis­cov­ered by a San­ta Clara Coun­ty Water Dis­trict Employ­ee. Some­one who had fired a .45 cal­iber black pow­der weapon into her mouth would be unlike­ly to have her hands crossed in her lap and with the revolver on her left leg. This sounds like it may well an arranged crime scene. “. . . . He noticed con­den­sa­tion on the win­dows, peered inside and saw Iris in the dri­ver’s seat with her hands crossed in her lap. The revolver lay on her left leg. . . .” Some­one who had fired a.45 cal­iber black pow­der weapon­in­to her mouth would be unlike­ly to have her hands crossed in her lap and with the revolver on her left leg. This sounds like it may well an arranged crime scene.

Tran­si­tion­ing to dis­cus­sion about bio­log­i­cal war­fare, we dis­cuss Unit 731–a Japan­ese chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal war­fare unit that com­mit­ted egre­gious atroc­i­ties in Chi­na dur­ing World War II.  We note: ” . . . . the U.S. Gov­ern­ment secret­ly absorbed Unit 731, mov­ing most of its sci­en­tists, per­son­nel, and doc­u­ments to U.S. mil­i­tary research cen­ters like Fort Diet­rick in the Mary­land coun­try­side. All infor­ma­tion about its activ­i­ties, includ­ing bio­log­i­cal war­fare atroc­i­ties, and hor­rif­ic exper­i­ments on ful­ly con­scious vic­tims, was with­held by Wash­ing­ton from the Amer­i­can and Japan­ese pub­lic, and from the Tokyo War Crimes Tri­bunals. All Unit 731’s records held by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment are still top secret. . . .”

In con­nec­tion with the coro­n­avirus, we note that U.S. sci­en­tists had syn­the­sized a virus of that type in a lab­o­ra­to­ry by 2008–an virus that infect­ed mice, as well as human tis­sues. The syn­thet­ic coro­n­avirus was described, in part, as fol­lows: ” . . . .  Here, we report the design, syn­the­sis, and recov­ery of the largest syn­thet­ic repli­cat­ing life form, a 29.7‑kb bat severe acute res­pi­ra­to­ry syn­drome (SARS)-like coro­n­avirus (Bat-SCoV), a like­ly prog­en­i­tor to the SARS-CoV epi­dem­ic. Syn­thet­ic recom­bi­nant bat SARS-like coro­n­avirus is infec­tious in cul­tured cells and in mice. . . .”

Alto­geth­er curi­ous in the con­text of the stri­dent­ly alarmist cov­er­age of the coro­n­avirus out­break is the fact that Thai doc­tors have appar­ent­ly suc­cess­ful­ly treat­ed the virus with a drug cock­tail involv­ing some com­mon anti-virals. “. . . . A Chi­nese woman infect­ed with the new coro­n­avirus showed a dra­mat­ic improve­ment after she was treat­ed with a cock­tail of anti-virals used to treat flu and HIV, Thai­land’s health min­istry said Sun­day. The 71-year-old patient test­ed neg­a­tive for the virus 48 hours after Thai doc­tors admin­is­tered the com­bi­na­tion, doc­tor Kriengsak Atti­porn­wanich said dur­ing the min­istry’s dai­ly press brief­ing. ‘The lab result of pos­i­tive on the coro­n­avirus turned neg­a­tive in 48 hours,’ Kriengsak said. . . . The doc­tors com­bined the anti-flu drug oseltamivir with lopinavir and riton­avir, anti-virals used to treat HIV, Kriengsak said, adding the min­istry was await­ing research results to prove the find­ings. . . .”

Report­ed by both Agence France Presse and Reuters–two major wire services–this (appar­ent­ly suc­cess­ful) ther­a­peu­tic regime has gone unre­port­ed in U.S. media, so far.

The lift­ing of a mora­to­ri­um on the test­ing of virus­es such as the SARS and MERS coro­n­avirus­es was lift­ed at the end of Decem­ber of 2017, a lit­tle more than two years before the out­break occurred. A num­ber of key points of inquiry in a post by Dr. Joseph Mer­co­la should be scru­ti­nized:

1.–As men­tioned the mora­to­ri­um on the test­ing of this virus was lift­ed a lit­tle less than two years after the out­break. ” . . . . For starters, a 2014 NPR article32 was rather prophet­ic. It dis­cuss­es the Octo­ber 2014 U.S. mora­to­ri­um on exper­i­ments on coro­n­avirus­es like SARS and MERS, as well as influen­za virus, that might make the virus­es more path­o­gen­ic and/or easy to spread among humans. The ban came on the heels of ‘high-pro­file lab mishaps’ at the CDC and ‘extreme­ly con­tro­ver­sial flu exper­i­ments’ in which the bird flu virus was engi­neered to become more lethal and con­ta­gious between fer­rets. The goal was to see if it could mutate and become more lethal and con­ta­gious between humans, caus­ing future pan­demics. . . . ”
2.–Note that as the ban was lift­ed, it was known that a virus of the type now infect­ing Chi­na had been devel­oped in a U.S. lab. This appears to be the same virus men­tioned in the 2008 post men­tioned above. That link had been tem­porar­i­ly bro­ken, as men­tioned in FTR #1112. It has since been restored. ” . . . . The fed­er­al mora­to­ri­um on lethal virus exper­i­ments in the U.S. was lift­ed at the end of Decem­ber 2017,38 even though researchers announced in 2015 they had cre­at­ed a lab-cre­at­ed hybrid coro­n­avirus sim­i­lar to that of SARS that was capa­ble of infect­ing both human air­way cells and mice. . . .”
3.–China had opened a lev­el 4 lab­o­ra­to­ry to study the world’s most dan­ger­ous pathogens in Jan­u­ary of 2018 (one month after the U.S. resumed test­ing of lethal virus­es.) ” . . . . In Jan­u­ary 2018, Chi­na’s first max­i­mum secu­ri­ty virol­o­gy lab­o­ra­to­ry (biose­cu­ri­ty lev­el 4) designed for the study of the world’s most dan­ger­ous pathogens opened its doors — in Wuhan.41,42 . . . .”
4.–A cou­ple of months before the out­break in Chi­na, there was a (frankly sus­pi­cious) exer­cise in New York that was not only a har­bin­ger of what was about to hap­pen but may have been used to jour­nal­is­ti­cal­ly frame cov­er­age of the Wuhan virus. The sig­nif­i­cance of this, in our opin­ion, is the “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare” component–the utter hys­te­ria grip­ping the world (and dri­ving down mar­kets) may be dri­ven, in part, by the sug­ges­tion placed in peo­ple’s minds by this exer­cise. Giv­en that rough­ly nine hun­dred Chi­nese have suc­cumbed to the coro­n­avirus and almost ten times that num­ber have died from the flu in the U.S. (a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion rough­ly one fifth the size of Chi­na’s) it would make more sense for peo­ple to be beside them­selves over the flu and/or the prospects of trav­el­ing to, or receiv­ing trav­el­ers from, the U.S. that is not the case. We also note, in this con­text, that the demo­graph­ic of peo­ple suc­cumb­ing to the coro­n­avirus is sim­i­lar to the demo­graph­ic of most flu fatal­i­ties: old­er peo­ple with oth­er infec­tions and/or chron­i­cal­ly ill patients. In oth­er words, peo­ple with weak­ened immune sys­tems. ” . . . . Equal­ly curi­ous is the fact that Johns Hop­kins Cen­ter for Health Secu­ri­ty, the World Eco­nom­ic Forum and the Bill and Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion spon­sored a nov­el coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic pre­pared­ness exer­cise Octo­ber 18, 2019, in New York called ‘Event 201.’46 The sim­u­la­tion pre­dict­ed a glob­al death toll of 65 mil­lion peo­ple with­in a span of 18 months.47 As report­ed by Forbes Decem­ber 12, 2019:48 ‘The experts ran through a care­ful­ly designed, detailed sim­u­la­tion of a new (fic­tion­al) viral ill­ness called CAPS or coro­n­avirus acute pul­monary syn­drome. This was mod­eled after pre­vi­ous epi­demics like SARS and MERS.’ Sounds exact­ly like NCIP, does­n’t it? Yet the new coro­n­avirus respon­si­ble for NCIP had not yet been iden­ti­fied at the time of the sim­u­la­tion, and the first case was­n’t report­ed until two months lat­er. . . . ”
5.–As not­ed above, press cov­er­age of the Chi­nese out­break sug­gests that media out­lets may well have been briefed about “Event 201.” ” . . . . Forbes also refers to the fic­tion­al pan­dem­ic as “Dis­ease X” — the same des­ig­na­tion used by The Tele­graph in its Jan­u­ary 24, 2020, video report, “Could This Coro­n­avirus be Dis­ease X?“49 which sug­gests that media out­lets were briefed and there was coor­di­na­tion ahead of time with regard to use of cer­tain key­words and catch­phras­es in news reports and opin­ion arti­cles. . . .”
6.–Also of sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that Johns Hopkins–the co-spon­sor of “Event 201,” is at the epi­cen­ter of nation­al secu­ri­ty relat­ed bio­med­ical research. FOIA requests on such infor­ma­tion are shield­ed: ” . . . . Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty (JHU) is the biggest recip­i­ent of research grants from fed­er­al agen­cies, includ­ing the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health, Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion and Depart­ment of Defense and has received mil­lions of dol­lars in research grants from the Gates Foundation.50 In 2016, Johns Hop­kins spent more than $2 bil­lion on research projects, lead­ing all U.S. uni­ver­si­ties in research spend­ing for the 38th year in a row.51 If research fund­ed by fed­er­al agen­cies, such as the DOD or HHS is clas­si­fied as being per­formed ‘in the inter­est of nation­al secu­ri­ty,’ it is exempt from Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act (FOIA) requests.52 Research con­duct­ed under the Bio­med­ical Advanced Research and Devel­op­ment Author­i­ty (BARDA) is com­plete­ly shield­ed from FOIA requests by the public.53 Addi­tion­al­ly, agen­cies may deny FOIA requests and with­hold infor­ma­tion if gov­ern­ment offi­cials con­clude that shield­ing it from pub­lic view ‘pro­tects trade secrets and com­mer­cial or finan­cial infor­ma­tion which could harm the com­pet­i­tive pos­ture or busi­ness inter­ests of a com­pa­ny.’ . . .”

Next, we note that Steve Bannon–at the epi­cen­ter of the anti-Chi­na movement–is pro­fes­sion­al­ly aligned with an exiled Chi­nese bil­lion­aire and a wealthy Texas hedge fund man­ag­er posi­tioned to make a great deal of mon­ey from a down­turn in Chi­na’s mar­kets.

Ban­non is also very close to the accom­plished investor bil­lion­aire Robert Mer­cer, of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca fame. In our next pro­gram, we will dis­cuss Mer­cer’s Reinais­sance Tech­nolo­gies hedge fund and its invest­ment posi­tion with regard to a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant that may prof­it from the coro­n­avirus out­break.

Key points of analy­sis:

1.–G News is dis­sem­i­nat­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion about the coro­n­avirus:  ” . . . . On Jan. 25, G News pub­lished a false sto­ry say­ing the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment was prepar­ing to admit that the coro­n­avirus orig­i­nat­ed in one of its labs. It did not, but the arti­cle still racked up over 19,000 tweets and 18,000 Face­book engage­ments, accord­ing to social track­ing web­site Buz­zSumo. . . . ”
2.–4chan and 2chan have been ampli­fy­ing the dis­in­for­ma­tion about the coro­n­avirus, echo­ing the false­hood that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment spread the virus. ” . . . . The web­site also pub­lished a ques­tion­able doc­u­ment that fed a con­spir­a­cy that the Chi­nese mil­i­tary spread the dis­ease delib­er­ate­ly. That doc­u­ment, which seems to have come from G News orig­i­nal­ly, has been pop­u­lar on anony­mous mes­sage boards like 4chan and 2chan. . . .”
3.–G News and its funder–Guo Wengui–are pro­fes­sion­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with Steve Ban­non. ” . . . . G News is part of Guo Media, a project fund­ed by Chi­nese bil­lion­aire Guo Wen­gui, also known as Miles Kwok and Miles Guo. . . . In August 2018, Guo’s orga­ni­za­tion signed what Axios report­ed to be a $1 mil­lion con­tract with Steve Ban­non, for­mer White House strate­gist and for­mer chair of the hyper­par­ti­san news site Bre­it­bart. The con­tract required Ban­non to make intro­duc­tions to ‘media per­son­al­i­ties’ and advise on ‘indus­try stan­dards,’ accord­ing to Axios. Guo and Ban­non fre­quent­ly appear togeth­er in videos on G News that attack the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. . . .”
4.–Associated with Steve Ban­non and G News is Dal­las-based hedge fund man­ag­er J. Kyle Bass, who is posi­tioned to make a great deal of mon­ey over a down­turn in the Chi­nese econ­o­my. ” . . . . Anoth­er per­son con­nect­ed to G News, hedge fund man­ag­er J. Kyle Bass, also spread a false coro­n­avirus claim in a tweet. His hedge fund report­ed­ly had invest­ments that will increase in val­ue if the Chi­nese econ­o­my fails . . . . Bass has remained a Chi­na crit­ic, fre­quent­ly echo­ing Ban­non.”
Bass, too, is tweet­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion about the virus: ” . . . . ‘A hus­band and wife Chi­nese spy team were recent­ly removed from a Lev­el 4 Infec­tious Dis­ease facil­i­ty in Cana­da for send­ing pathogens to the Wuhan facil­i­ty. The hus­band spe­cial­ized in coro­n­avirus research,’ Bass tweet­ed, link­ing to a CBC News arti­cle that did not sup­port his claim. . . .”
5.–Bass has no inten­tion of remov­ing his tweet, and is chair­man of a foun­da­tion that adver­tis­es on G News. ” . . . . When asked about his tweet, Bass said he had no plan to remove it. ‘I am extreme­ly con­cerned about the spread of mis­in­for­ma­tion about the coro­n­avirus by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment,’ he said. Bass is the chair of the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion, a non­prof­it that runs ban­ner ads at the top and bot­tom of the G News web­site solic­it­ing dona­tions. . . .”
6.–Bass denies any link between the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion and the Rule of Law Fund, found­ed by Guo and Ban­non, a claim of which we are skep­ti­cal. ” . . . . He also claimed that the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion was sep­a­rate from the $100 mil­lion fund start­ed by Guo and Ban­non called the Rule of Law Fund. . . .”

Sup­ple­ment­ing the pre­vi­ous arti­cle about Ban­non, J. Kyle Bass and Guo Wen­gui, we note that Bass is close to, and may well be a co-investor with, Tom­my Hicks Jr., a key mem­ber of Team Trump. Hicks, Com­merce Sec­re­tary Wilbur Ross and nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials are, in turn, work­ing to deny Chi­nese elec­tron­ics firm Huawei access to devel­op­ing 5G net­works, fur­ther ham­string­ing the Chi­nese econ­o­my.

Paul Krug­man, among oth­ers, has not­ed that Wilbur Ross was open­ly cel­e­brat­ing the coro­n­avirus as a boon to the Unit­ed States.

We high­light key aspects of this dis­cus­sion:

1.–Tommy Hicks is at the epi­cen­ter of Trump admin­is­tra­tion maneu­ver­ing that, ulti­mate­ly, will hurt Chi­na eco­nom­i­cal­ly (and will ben­e­fit the invest­ments of J. Kyle Bass.) Hic Over the past two years, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion has been grap­pling with how to han­dle the tran­si­tion to the next gen­er­a­tion of mobile broad­band tech­nol­o­gy. With spend­ing expect­ed to run into hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars, the admin­is­tra­tion views it as an ultra-high-stakes com­pe­ti­tion between U.S. and Chi­nese com­pa­nies, with enor­mous impli­ca­tions both for tech­nol­o­gy and for nation­al secu­ri­ty. Top offi­cials from a raft of depart­ments have been meet­ing to hash out the best approach. But there’s been one per­son at some of the dis­cus­sions who has a dif­fer­ent back­ground: He’s Don­ald Trump Jr.’s hunt­ing bud­dy. . . .”
2.–Hicks is not a gov­ern­ment offi­cial but has access to high-lev­el gov­ern­men­tal process, includ­ing (appar­ent­ly) CIA activ­i­ties. ” . . . . Tom­my Hicks Jr., 41, isn’t a gov­ern­ment offi­cial; he’s a wealthy pri­vate investor. And he has been a part of dis­cus­sions relat­ed to Chi­na and tech­nol­o­gy with top offi­cials from the Trea­sury Depart­ment, Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, Com­merce Depart­ment and oth­ers, accord­ing to emails and doc­u­ments obtained by ProP­ub­li­ca. In one email, Hicks refers to a meet­ing at ‘Lan­g­ley,’ an appar­ent ref­er­ence to the CIA’s head­quar­ters. . . .”
3.–Hicks has used his posi­tion to arrange for J. Kyle Bass to net­work with gov­ern­ment agen­cies and offi­cials. Bear in mind that Bass is posi­tioned to ben­e­fit from a down­turn in Chi­na’s econ­o­my. ” . . . . Hicks used his con­nec­tions to arrange for a hedge fund man­ag­er friend, Kyle Bass — who has $143 mil­lion in invest­ments that will pay off if China’s econ­o­my tanks — to present his views on the Chi­nese econ­o­my to high-lev­el gov­ern­ment offi­cials at an inter­a­gency meet­ing at the Trea­sury Depart­ment, accord­ing to the doc­u­ments. . . .”
4.–Hicks is no co-chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee. ” . . . . Hicks lever­aged his Dal­las finan­cial net­work to become a top Trump cam­paign fundrais­er in 2016 and a vice chair­man of the inau­gur­al finance com­mit­tee; in Jan­u­ary, he was named co-chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee. . . . ”
5.–In addi­tion to his rela­tion­ship with Don­ald Trump, Jr., Hicks is net­worked with Jared Kush­n­er. ” . . . . Even before becom­ing the sec­ond high­est-rank­ing GOP offi­cial, Hicks was a fre­quent White House guest. He liked to have lunch in the White House mess with his half sis­ter, who worked for a time in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions oper­a­tion. . . .  Hicks would then stroll the halls, accord­ing to a for­mer senior admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial, drop­ping in to offices for impromp­tu chats with var­i­ous offi­cials, includ­ing Jared Kush­n­er. Those sorts of con­nec­tions have giv­en Hicks a con­ven­ing pow­er, the abil­i­ty to call togeth­er mul­ti­ple offi­cials. . . . ”
6.–Again, Hicks net­work­ing can influ­ence pol­i­cy­mak­ing that could dam­age Chi­na eco­nom­i­cal­ly and assist Bass. ” . . . . ‘He basi­cal­ly opened the door for hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with peo­ple who I didn’t know but need­ed to know,’ said Robert Spald­ing, a for­mer senior direc­tor for strate­gic plan­ning at the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil dur­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. The efforts, detailed in hun­dreds of pages of gov­ern­ment emails and oth­er doc­u­ments obtained under the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act, show that Hicks had access to the high­est lev­els of gov­ern­ment to influ­ence pol­i­cy­mak­ing in ways that could lead to painful eco­nom­ic out­comes for the Chi­nese — and a poten­tial­ly lucra­tive result for Hicks’ hedge fund friend, Bass. . . .”
7.–Hicks and Bass have invest­ed togeth­er since 2011. ” . . . . Bass pre­sent­ed his views on China’s bank­ing sys­tem in the office of Heath Tar­bert, an assis­tant sec­re­tary at Trea­sury in charge of inter­na­tion­al mar­kets and invest­ment pol­i­cy and a pow­er­ful inter­gov­ern­men­tal com­mit­tee that reviews for­eign invest­ments in the U.S. for nation­al secu­ri­ty con­cerns. Among the offi­cials at the meet­ing with Tar­bert were Bill Hin­man, the direc­tor of the divi­sion of cor­po­ra­tion finance at the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion, and Ray Wash­burne, a wealthy Dal­las restau­rant own­er and fam­i­ly friend of Hicks’ who was nom­i­nat­ed by Trump to head the Over­seas Pri­vate Invest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion. Hicks and Bass, both Dal­las res­i­dents and long­time denizens of the finan­cial com­mu­ni­ty there, have invest­ed togeth­er since at least 2011, accord­ing to secu­ri­ties fil­ings and court records. . . .”
8.–Hicks did not deny that he par­tic­i­pat­ed in Bass’s funds, but was eva­sive.” . . . . But it’s not clear if Hicks or his fam­i­ly have an invest­ment in Bass’ Chi­na-relat­ed funds. Reached twice on his cell­phone, Hicks declined to be inter­viewed by ProP­ub­li­ca. In the sec­ond call, in June, Hicks didn’t dis­pute that he and his fam­i­ly have invest­ed in Bass’ funds. But when asked to detail their busi­ness rela­tion­ship, he cut the con­ver­sa­tion short. . . . ”
Bass has a his­to­ry of bet­ting against trends that will turn down­ward, hav­ing made his for­tune on the 2008 crash. ” . . . . Bass, who made his name and for­tune by bet­ting against sub­prime mort­gages before the crash and is known for large bets that economies or cer­tain macro trends will turn down­ward, declined to com­ment. . . .”
9.–Official review did not exam­ine pos­si­ble busi­ness rela­tion­ships between Hicks and Bass. H” . . . . An admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial briefed on the Bass meet­ing at the Trea­sury down­played it as ‘strict­ly a lis­ten­ing ses­sion.’ . . . . He acknowl­edged that the review didn’t include an exam­i­na­tion of any finan­cial rela­tion­ship between Hicks and Bass. . . .”
10.–Bass is posi­tioned to main­tain “mas­sive asym­me­try” to down turns in Hong Kong and Chi­na, in oth­er words, he will ben­e­fit if they go down. ” . . . . Bass has become a vocal advo­cate for an aggres­sive U.S. pol­i­cy toward Chi­na. On Twit­ter and on cable busi­ness chan­nels he’s denounced every­thing from the country’s Com­mu­nist Par­ty gov­ern­ment to its busi­ness prac­tices. Secu­ri­ties fil­ings show Bass raised $143 mil­lion from about 81 investors in two funds — invest­ments that would ben­e­fit if China’s cur­ren­cy were deval­ued or the coun­try faced cred­it or bank­ing crises. In April, in a let­ter to his investors, Bass wrote that his com­pa­ny, Hay­man Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, was posi­tioned for com­ing prob­lems in Hong Kong and was set up to ‘main­tain a mas­sive asym­me­try to a neg­a­tive out­come in Hong Kong and/or Chi­na.’ . . . ”
11.–Hicks has net­worked with Wilbur Ross, who has open­ly cel­e­brat­ed the coro­n­avirus out­break. Ross is deeply involved with the 5G maneu­ver­ing.” . . . . Hicks’ work on the 5G ini­tia­tive was exten­sive. . . . .  he was part of an infor­mal group led by then NSC offi­cial Spald­ing, that advo­cat­ed for a strat­e­gy in which the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment would plan out a nation­al pol­i­cy for 5G. . . . That same month Hicks attend­ed a 5G meet­ing that he’d arranged with Com­merce Sec­re­tary Wilbur Ross. Com­merce plays a key role in the future of 5G since a divi­sion with­in the agency man­ages gov­ern­ment spec­trum and anoth­er main­tains a list of com­pa­nies the gov­ern­ment believes are, or will become, nation­al secu­ri­ty threats. Com­pa­nies that end up on that list can be effec­tive­ly shut out from glob­al deal-mak­ing. The meet­ing with Ross focused heav­i­ly on the threat of Chi­na, said Ira Green­stein, who served as a White House aide and was part of Spalding’s 5G crew. . . .”
12.–Hicks is net­work­ing with ele­ments in Tai­wan with regard to the 5G devel­op­ments. ” . . . . It isn’t clear what influ­ence, if any, Hicks had in those deci­sions. But his pro­file is only ris­ing. In April, he led a Repub­li­can del­e­ga­tion to Tai­wan along­side a U.S. gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tion. Hicks met with the country’s pres­i­dent, Tsai Ing-wen, who has late­ly been posi­tion­ing her country’s cor­po­ra­tions as safer providers of 5G equip­ment than those in Chi­na. Tsai thanked the U.S. for sell­ing arms to Tai­wan. She asked Hicks to con­vey her regards to the Trumps. . . .”

The broad­cast con­cludes with a read­ing of head­lines and, in some cas­es, text excerpts of arti­cles about the eco­nom­ic impact of the coro­n­avirus out­break, as well as xeno­pho­bic over-reac­tion on the part of many gov­ern­ments.


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 #1103 Fascism, 2019 World Tour, Part 13: Goose-Hopping in Hong Kong with Pepe the Frog and the Azov Battalion

We have been high­light­ing the role of Ukraine as a “piv­ot point” for the Earth Island or World Island, and the evo­lu­tion of the Inter­mar­i­um con­cept in the appli­ca­tion of fas­cist con­trol of that unfor­tu­nate coun­try. 

Stretch­ing from the Straits of Gibral­tar, all across Europe, most of the Mid­dle East, Eura­sia, Rus­sia, Chi­na and India, that stretch of land: com­pris­es most of the world’s land mass; con­tains most of the world’s pop­u­la­tion and most of the world’s nat­ur­al resources (includ­ing oil and nat­ur­al gas.) Geopoliti­cians have long seen con­trol­ling that land mass as the key to world dom­i­na­tion.

Key to ana­lyz­ing the real­iza­tion of con­trol of the Ukrain­ian “piv­ot point” is the OUN milieu and its man­i­fes­ta­tion through the bet­ter part of the last cen­tu­ry. 

On our Fas­cism: 2019 World Tour, we have cov­ered the desta­bi­liza­tion of Chi­na and Hong Kong, as well as the oper­a­tions of the Ukrain­ian Nazi Azov milieu. Now, there has been some­thing of a con­ver­gence.

Aug­ment­ing the right-wing and fas­cist pres­ence in Hong Kong are vet­er­ans of the Azov Bat­tal­ion and Pravy Sek­tor. ” . . . . The lat­est col­lec­tion of extreme-right activists to rein­force the ranks of the Hong Kong sep­a­ratists are from Ukraine. They call them­selves Gonor and have tat­toos on their upper tor­sos with unde­ni­able sym­bols of white suprema­cy and neo-Nazism. These extrem­ists pre­vi­ous­ly fought in a noto­ri­ous­ly bru­tal neo-Nazi mili­tia called the Azov Bat­tal­ion, in Ukraine’s war against pro-Russ­ian mil­i­tants. . . .”

The Gonor con­tin­gent includes a for­mer leader of Pravy Sek­tor (Right Sec­tor). ” . . . . Jour­nal­ist Mor­gan Artyukhi­na iden­ti­fied anoth­er mem­ber of the far-right Ukrain­ian con­tin­gent in Hong Kong as Ser­hii Ster­nenko. Artyukhi­na not­ed that Ster­nenko is a for­mer leader of the Ukrain­ian fas­cist group Right Sec­tor, which burned down a trade union build­ing in Odessa dur­ing the 2014 coup, killing 42 peo­ple. . . .”

Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that the Ukrain­ian fas­cists are in Hong Kong under the aus­pices of an EU-financed NGO. ” . . . . The Free Hong Kong Cen­ter is a project of an NGO called the Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic League of Ukraine. In addi­tion to build­ing links with anti-Bei­jing forces in Hong Kong, the project says its mis­sion is to ‘counter Chi­nese threats to Ukraine.’ The Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic League of Ukraine is a pro-Euro­pean Union advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion which is a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Lib­er­al Youth and the Inter­na­tion­al Fed­er­a­tion of Lib­er­al Youth, both of which are fund­ed by the EU. . . .”

Key points of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis include:

1.–The Azov and Pravy Sek­tor vet­er­ans call them­selves Gonor and the NGO that facil­i­tat­ed their entry into Hong Kong white­washed the Nazi/fascist nature of the group.
2.–Members of the group sport­ed a vari­ety of Nazi and fas­cist tat­toos, includ­ing the “Vic­to­ry or Val­hal­la” slo­gan that was the title of a book by David Lane. Lane drove the get­away car for the mur­der of talk-show host Alan Berg and mint­ed the 14 Words—emblematic for the inter­na­tion­al Nazi move­ment. Svoboda’s C14 mili­tia takes its name from the 14 words.  ” . . . . Sev­er­al pho­tos show that at least two of the Ukrain­ian fas­cists in Hong Kong have tat­toos read­ing “Vic­to­ry or Val­hal­la,” the title of a com­pi­la­tion of writ­ings by the noto­ri­ous Amer­i­can white suprema­cist David Lane, whose neo-fas­cist ter­ror­ist group The Order mur­dered a lib­er­al Jew­ish radio host and planned more assas­si­na­tions of left-wing Jews. Lane, who was con­vict­ed to 190 years in a US prison for numer­ous crimes, cre­at­ed the most famous white suprema­cist slo­gan, known as the 14 Words — which inspired the name of anoth­er Ukrain­ian neo-Nazi group called C14. . . .”
3.–Gonor has embraced the slo­gan “Stand with Hong Kong.” ” . . . .  Stand With Hong Kong is also the name of a West­ern-backed orga­ni­za­tion that has been lob­by­ing the gov­ern­ments of the US, Britain, Ger­many, Cana­da, and Aus­tralia to impose sanc­tions and take puni­tive action against Chi­na. . . .”
4.–Gonor’s Telegram chan­nel has high­light­ed acts of vio­lence by the “pro-Democ­ra­cy” demon­stra­tors. ” . . . . Gonor’s Telegram chan­nel offers mem­bers a front row seat to an orgy of vio­lence. It has pub­lished dozens of videos of Hong Kong insur­gents, hero­iz­ing them for shoot­ing arrows and car­ry­ing out bru­tal attacks on state secu­ri­ty forces. . . .”
5.–The NGO—The Free Hong Kong Cen­ter (a sub­sidiary of the Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic League of Ukraine) also white­washed the Nazi char­ac­ter of the Azov Bat­tal­ion.
6.–The Ukrain­ian Nazis had obtained press pass­es for their pres­ence in Hong Kong.
7.–The Ukrain­ian Nazis were emphat­ic about their pres­ence in Hong Kong being an exten­sion of the Maid­an coup.
8.–The pres­ence of the Ukrain­ian fas­cists in Hong Kong appears to be an exten­sion of Amer­i­can and EU Earth Island geo-polit­i­cal activism.
9.–Are the Azov and Pravy Sek­tor vet­er­ans in Hong Kong to pro­vide a vio­lent, mil­i­tary pres­ence as part of the Hong Kong desta­bi­liza­tion effort? Are we wit­ness­ing a “Hong Kong” Maid­an?

In FTR #1089, we not­ed the pres­ence of Pepe the Frog as an icon­ic pres­ence in the Hong Kong tur­moil. 

Steve Bannon–one of the lumi­nar­ies of the “Alt-Right,” and a for­mer key Trump aide is cen­tral­ly involved in the anti-Chi­na effort. This sug­gests that the pres­ence of Pepe the Frog’s image in Hong Kong might have some­thing to do with the “Alt-Right” after all.

As dis­cussed in–among oth­er programs–FTR #‘s 946 and 1077, Ban­non was at the epi­cen­ter of the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca cyber-psy-op dur­ing the 2016 elec­tion. One of the prin­ci­pal oper­a­tors of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca was Christo­pher Wylie. 

We won­der if the tech­niques used by Ban­non, Wylie, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, SCL et al might have been used in Hong Kong? The the lais­sez-faire econ­o­my of Hong Kong has seen a 300 per­cent increase in rents while income has stag­nat­ed, thus impov­er­ish­ing 20% of Hong Kong’s pop­u­la­tion. Many young peo­ple in Hong Kong might well be vul­ner­a­ble to the type of social media psy-op that Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca spe­cial­ized in.

Was such a tech­nique employed to help gen­er­ate the unrest in Hong Kong?

In our next pro­gram, we will review the rebirth of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, with a Hong Kong-based financier and busi­ness part­ner of Erik Prince (of Black­wa­ter fame and the broth­er of Trump Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion Bet­sy DeVos) on the board of direc­tors.

Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca is 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. . . . ”

The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of Wik­iLeaks’ links to Chi­nese and Tibetan dis­si­dent activists and spec­u­la­tion about the CIA’s Edward Snow­den’s activ­i­ties in Hong Kong–the first stop on his inter­na­tion­al odyssey. In Hong Kong, he net­worked with Wik­iLeaks, who then facil­i­tat­ed his decamp­ment to Moscow. That trip was the open­ing gam­bit in the New Cold War.

In our next pro­gram, we will fur­ther dis­cuss Chi­na’s role as an inter­na­tion­al leader in Green tech­nol­o­gy and the impli­ca­tions of this for the Lithi­um Coup in Bolivia.


FTR #1087 Fascism: 2019 World Tour, Part 2

After review of Carl Lund­strom’s financ­ing of the Swe­den Democ­rats, as well as his cen­tral role in financ­ing the Pirate Bay site (which host­ed Wik­iLeaks, cour­tesy of Joran Jermas/Israel Shamir), we delve into the oper­a­tions of Lund­strom’s Swe­den Demo­c­rat asso­ciates.

Uti­liz­ing the anti-immi­grant theme uti­lized with great effect by fas­cists around the world, the Swe­den Democ­rats are gain­ing ground on the Swedish polit­i­cal land­scape.

Key points of dis­cus­sion include: The Nazi ori­gins of the Swe­den Democ­rats; the Waf­fen SS back­ground of one of the par­ty’s founders; net­work­ing of the Swe­den Democ­rats with fas­cists and reac­tionar­ies in oth­er coun­tries, includ­ing the U.S., France and Ger­many; the piv­otal role of the inter­net in advanc­ing the for­tunes of the Swe­den Democ­rats.

Next, we exam­ine the rise of Jair Bol­sonaro’s fas­cist gov­ern­ment.

Again, in recent pro­grams, we have exam­ined the pro­found role of online tech­nol­o­gy. in the pro­mo­tion of fas­cism, as well as over­lap­ping areas of intel­li­gence activ­i­ty. In that con­text, it is vital to remem­ber that the Inter­net was devel­oped as a weapon, with the focus of the tech­nol­o­gy being coun­terin­sur­gency.

In Brazil, the rise of Jair Bol­sonaro’s fas­cist gov­ern­ment received deci­sive momen­tum from YouTube, which is trans­form­ing the polit­i­cal land­scape in Brazil, as it is in this coun­try.

” . . . .In col­or­ful, far-right rants, Mr. Moura accused fem­i­nists, teach­ers and main­stream politi­cians of wag­ing vast con­spir­a­cies. Mr. Dominguez was hooked.

As his time on the site grew, YouTube rec­om­mend­ed videos from oth­er far-right fig­ures. One was a law­mak­er named Jair Bol­sonaro, then a mar­gin­al fig­ure in nation­al pol­i­tics — but a star in YouTube’s far-right com­mu­ni­ty in Brazil, where the plat­form has become more wide­ly watched than all but one TV chan­nel. Last year, he became Pres­i­dent Bol­sonaro.

‘YouTube became the social media plat­form of the Brazil­ian right,’ said Mr. Dominguez, now a lanky 17-year-old who says he, too, plans to seek polit­i­cal office. . . .”

Two excerpts from the sto­ry below encap­su­late and epit­o­mize the grow­ing, suc­cess­ful man­i­fes­ta­tion of inter­net fas­cism: “An Ecosys­tem of Hate” and the “Dic­ta­tor­ship of the ‘Like’ ”

“. . . . An Ecosys­tem of Hate

. . . . As the far right rose, many of its lead­ing voic­es had learned to weaponize the con­spir­a­cy videos, offer­ing their vast audi­ences a tar­get: peo­ple to blame. Even­tu­al­ly, the YouTube con­spir­acists turned their spot­light on Deb­o­ra Diniz, a women’s rights activist whose abor­tion advo­ca­cy had long made her a tar­get of the far right.

Bernar­do Küster, a YouTube star whose home­made rants had won him 750,000 sub­scribers and an endorse­ment from Mr. Bol­sonaro, accused her of involve­ment in the sup­posed Zika plots.

As far-right and con­spir­a­cy chan­nels began cit­ing one anoth­er, YouTube’s rec­om­men­da­tion sys­tem learned to string their videos togeth­er.

How­ev­er implau­si­ble any indi­vid­ual rumor might be on its own, joined togeth­er, they cre­at­ed the impres­sion that dozens of dis­parate sources were reveal­ing the same ter­ri­fy­ing truth.

‘It feels like the con­nec­tion is made by the view­er, but the con­nec­tion is made by the sys­tem,’ Ms. Diniz said.

Threats of rape and tor­ture filled Ms. Diniz’s phone and email. Some cit­ed her dai­ly rou­tines. Many echoed claims from Mr. Küster’s videos, she said.

Mr. Küster glee­ful­ly men­tioned, though nev­er explic­it­ly endorsed, the threats. That kept him just with­in YouTube’s rules.

When the uni­ver­si­ty where Ms. Diniz taught received a warn­ing that a gun­man would shoot her and her stu­dents, and the police said they could no longer guar­an­tee her safe­ty, she left Brazil. . . .

. . . . ‘The Dic­ta­tor­ship of the Like’

Ground zero for pol­i­tics by YouTube may be the São Paulo head­quar­ters of Movi­men­to Brasil Livre, which formed to agi­tate for the 2016 impeach­ment of the left-wing Pres­i­dent Dil­ma Rouss­eff. Its mem­bers trend young, mid­dle-class, right-wing and extreme­ly online.

Renan San­tos, the group’s nation­al coor­di­na­tor, ges­tured to a door marked ‘the YouTube Divi­sion’ and said, ‘This is the heart of things.’

Inside, eight young men poked at edit­ing soft­ware. One was styl­iz­ing an image of Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni for a video argu­ing that fas­cism had been wrong­ly blamed on the right.

. . . . The group’s co-founder, a man-bunned for­mer rock gui­tarist name Pedro D’Eyrot, said ‘we have some­thing here that we call the dic­ta­tor­ship of the like.’

Real­i­ty, he said, is shaped by what­ev­er mes­sage goes most viral. Even as he spoke, a two-hour YouTube video was cap­ti­vat­ing the nation. Titled ‘1964’ for the year of Brazil’s mil­i­tary coup, it argued that the takeover had been nec­es­sary to save Brazil from com­mu­nism.

Mr. Dominguez, the teenag­er learn­ing to play gui­tar, said the video per­suad­ed him that his teach­ers had fab­ri­cat­ed the hor­rors of mil­i­tary rule.

Ms. Borges, the his­to­ry teacher vil­i­fied on YouTube, said it brought back mem­o­ries of mil­i­tary cur­fews, dis­ap­peared activists and police beat­ings. ‘I don’t think I’ve had my last beat­ing,’ she said. . . .”


FTR #1077 Surveillance Valley, Part 3: Cambridge Analytica, Democracy and Counterinsurgency

Con­tin­u­ing the dis­cus­sion from FTR #1076, the broad­cast recaps key aspects of analy­sis of the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal.

In our last pro­gram, we not­ed that both the inter­net (DARPA projects includ­ing Project Agile) and the Ger­man Nazi Par­ty had their ori­gins as coun­terin­sur­gency gam­bits. Not­ing Hitler’s speech before The Indus­try Club of Dus­sel­dorf, in which he equat­ed com­mu­nism with democ­ra­cy, we high­light how the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal reflects the coun­terin­sur­gency ori­gins of the Inter­net, and how the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca affair embod­ies anti-Democ­ra­cy/as coun­terin­sur­gency.

Key aspects of the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca affair include:

1.–The use of psy­cho­graph­ic per­son­al­i­ty test­ing on Face­book that is used for polit­i­cal advan­tage: ” . . . . 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. . . .”
2.–The par­ent com­pa­ny of Cam­bridge Analytica–SCL–was deeply involved with coun­tert­er­ror­ism “psy-ops” in Afghanistan, embody­ing the essence of the coun­terin­sur­gency dynam­ic at the root of the devel­op­ment of the Inter­net. The use of online data to sub­vert democ­ra­cy recalls Hitler’s speech to the Indus­try Club of Dus­sel­dorf, in which he equat­ed democ­ra­cy with com­mu­nism: ” . . . . Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca was a com­pa­ny spun out of SCL Group, a British mil­i­tary con­trac­tor that worked in infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions for armed forces around the world. It was con­duct­ing research on how to scale and digi­tise infor­ma­tion war­fare – the use of infor­ma­tion to con­fuse or degrade the effi­ca­cy of an ene­my. . . . As direc­tor of research, Wylie’s orig­i­nal role was to map out how the com­pa­ny would take tra­di­tion­al infor­ma­tion oper­a­tions tac­tics into the online space – in par­tic­u­lar, by pro­fil­ing peo­ple who would be sus­cep­ti­ble to cer­tain mes­sag­ing. This mor­phed into the polit­i­cal are­na. After Wylie left, the com­pa­ny worked on Don­ald Trump’s US pres­i­den­tial cam­paign . . . .”
3.–Cambridge Ana­lyt­i­ca whistle­blow­er Christo­pher Wylie’s obser­va­tions on the anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic nature of the fir­m’s work: ” . . . . It was this shift from the bat­tle­field to pol­i­tics that made Wylie uncom­fort­able. ‘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,’ he says. ‘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.’ . . . .”
4.–Wylie’s obser­va­tions on how Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca’s method­ol­o­gy can be used to build a fas­cist polit­i­cal move­ment: ” . . . . One of the rea­sons these tech­niques are so insid­i­ous is that being a tar­get of a dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign is ‘usu­al­ly a plea­sur­able expe­ri­ence’, because you are being fed con­tent with which you are like­ly to agree. ‘You are being guid­ed through some­thing that you want to be true,’ Wylie says. To build an insur­gency, he explains, you first tar­get peo­ple who are more prone to hav­ing errat­ic traits, para­noia or con­spir­a­to­r­i­al think­ing, and get them to ‘like’ a group on social media. They start engag­ing with the con­tent, which may or may not be true; either way ‘it feels good to see that infor­ma­tion’. When the group reach­es 1,000 or 2,000 mem­bers, an event is set up in the local area. Even if only 5% show up, ‘that’s 50 to 100 peo­ple flood­ing a local cof­fee shop’, Wylie says. This, he adds, val­i­dates their opin­ion because oth­er peo­ple there are also talk­ing about ‘all these things that you’ve been see­ing online in the depths of your den and get­ting angry about’. Peo­ple then start to believe the rea­son it’s not shown on main­stream news chan­nels is because ‘they don’t want you to know what the truth is’. As Wylie sums it up: ‘What start­ed out as a fan­ta­sy online gets port­ed into the tem­po­ral world and becomes real to you because you see all these peo­ple around you.’ . . . .”
5.–Wylie’s obser­va­tion that Face­book was “All In” on the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca machi­na­tions: ” . . . . ‘Face­book has known about what Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca was up to from the very begin­ning of those projects,” Wylie claims. “They were noti­fied, they autho­rised the appli­ca­tions, they were giv­en the terms and con­di­tions of the app that said explic­it­ly what it was doing. They hired peo­ple who worked on build­ing the app. I had legal cor­re­spon­dence with their lawyers where they acknowl­edged it hap­pened as far back as 2016.’ . . . .”
6.–The deci­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion of “Spy Tech” firm Palan­tir in the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca oper­a­tion: 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. In addi­tion to his oppo­si­tion to democ­ra­cy because it alleged­ly is inim­i­cal to wealth cre­ation, Thiel does­n’t think women should be allowed to vote and holds Nazi legal the­o­reti­cian Carl Schmitt in high regard. ” . . . . 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. . . .”
7.–The use of “dark posts” by the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca team. (We have not­ed that Brad Parscale has reassem­bled the old Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca team for Trump’s 2020 elec­tion cam­paign. It seems prob­a­ble that AOC’s mil­lions of online fol­low­ers, as well as the “Bernie Bots,” will be get­ting “dark posts” craft­ed by AI’s scan­ning their online efforts.) ” . . . . One recent adver­tis­ing prod­uct on Face­book is the so-called ‘dark post’: A news­feed mes­sage seen by no one aside from the users being tar­get­ed. With the help of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, Mr. Trump’s dig­i­tal team used dark posts to serve dif­fer­ent ads to dif­fer­ent poten­tial vot­ers, aim­ing to push the exact right but­tons for the exact right peo­ple at the exact right times. . . .”

Sup­ple­ment­ing the dis­cus­sion about Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, the pro­gram reviews infor­ma­tion from FTR #718 about Face­book’s appar­ent involve­ment with ele­ments and indi­vid­u­als linked to CIA and DARPA: ” . . . . Face­book’s most recent round of fund­ing was led by a com­pa­ny called Grey­lock Ven­ture Cap­i­tal, who put in the sum of $27.5m. One of Grey­lock­’s senior part­ners is called Howard Cox, anoth­er for­mer chair­man of the NVCA, who is also on the board of In-Q-Tel. What’s In-Q-Tel? Well, believe it or not (and check out their web­site), this is the ven­ture-cap­i­tal wing of the CIA. After 9/11, the US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty became so excit­ed by the pos­si­bil­i­ties of new tech­nol­o­gy and the inno­va­tions being made in the pri­vate sec­tor, that in 1999 they set up their own ven­ture cap­i­tal fund, In-Q-Tel, which ‘iden­ti­fies and part­ners with com­pa­nies devel­op­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies to help deliv­er these solu­tions to the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency and the broad­er US Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty (IC) to fur­ther their mis­sions’. . . .”

More about the CIA/DARPA links to the devel­op­ment of Face­book: ” . . . . The sec­ond round of fund­ing into Face­book ($US12.7 mil­lion) came from ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Accel Part­ners. Its man­ag­er James Brey­er was for­mer­ly chair­man of the Nation­al Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Asso­ci­a­tion, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a ven­ture cap­i­tal firm estab­lished by the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency in 1999. One of the com­pa­ny’s key areas of exper­tise are in ‘data min­ing tech­nolo­gies’. Brey­er also served on the board of R&D firm BBN Tech­nolo­gies, which was one of those com­pa­nies respon­si­ble for the rise of the inter­net. Dr Ani­ta Jones joined the firm, which includ­ed Gilman Louie. She had also served on the In-Q-Tel’s board, and had been direc­tor of Defence Research and Engi­neer­ing for the US Depart­ment of Defence. She was also an advis­er to the Sec­re­tary of Defence and over­see­ing the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is respon­si­ble for high-tech, high-end devel­op­ment. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of Face­book’s plans to use brain-to-com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy to oper­ate its plat­form, there­by the enabling of record­ing and data­bas­ing peo­ple’s thoughts; Review of Face­book’s employ­ment of for­mer DARPA head Regi­na Dugan to imple­ment the brain-to-com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy; Review of Face­book’s build­ing 8–designed to dupli­cate DARPA; Review of Face­book’s hir­ing of the Atlantic Coun­cil to police the social medi­um’s online con­tent; Review of Face­book’s part­ner­ing with Naren­dra Mod­i’s Hin­dut­va fas­cist gov­ern­ment in India; Review of Face­book’s emloy­ment of Ukrain­ian fas­cist Katery­na Kruk to man­age the social medi­um’s Ukrain­ian con­tent.


Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Ukraine Kateryna Kruk’s Nazi and Fascist Manifestations

In FTR #1074, we high­light­ed Face­book’s appoint­ment of Katery­na Kruk to be its Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Man­ag­er in Ukraine. Kruk is very close to the Atlantic Coun­cil, which was effec­tive­ly posi­tioned by Face­book to han­dle its man­age­ment of “Fake News.” The Atlantic Coun­cil is a foun­da­tion­al ele­ment of the push for a new Cold War and has pro­found links to both U.S. intel­li­gence and the fascist/Nazi milieu that grew out of the Rein­hard Gehlen spy orga­ni­za­tion. In addi­tion to hav­ing worked with Svo­bo­da dur­ing the Euro­maid­an protests, Kruk has man­i­fest­ed oth­er Nazi and fas­cist affil­i­a­tions: 1.) In 2014, she 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. 2.) In March 2018, a 19-year neo-Nazi named Andriy “Dil­ly” Krivich was shot and killed by a sniper. Krivich–pictured above, at right–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.) 3.) Kruk 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. 4.) She 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.” . . . .


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.