Category Archives: Information War

Another Russian ramble

Here’s a timely link to a NATO Defense College publication: Handbook of Russian Information Warfare,  which I saw in a tweet yesterday.  In America, a great deal of  fear mongering substitutes for actual understanding of the Russian information warfare strategies and how the Russians view information warfare in their overall military strategic operations.

The Russian approach to information warfare seems to both terrify and mystify many American policymakers and journalists.  The key, I think, relies on wrapping your mind around the Russian’s reliance on reflexive control, which this handbook explains in easy to understand terms.

Here’s a quick explanation of  reflexive control from a Small Wars Journal article written by Ronald Sprang:

“The second modern Russian theoretical concept is reflexive control. Reflexive control is applied as a means to interfere and manipulate an opponent’s decision-making cycle. It can target human decision making and organizational decision-making systems and processes. Reflexive control can also be applied through automated systems and digital mission command architecture. Reflexive control is “a means of conveying to a partner or an opponent specially prepared information to incline him to voluntarily make the predetermined decision desired by the initiator of the action.”[x] One of the goals of reflexive control is the temporary slowdown of the adversary’s tempo and operational level decision making process.[xi] This adjustment in tempo creates windows of opportunity for Russian exploitation of changes in tempo and potential opponent decisions that shape the operational level forces into the overall Russian operational design and approach.”

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/russian-operational-art-new-type-warfare-and-reflexive-control

To explain how the Russians approach to information warfare developed requires going back further in Russian history than the Soviet era, I think.  The Russian state secret police dates back to 1565, when Ivan the Terrible formed the Oprichnina.

Recently, I began watching the Amazon Prime Russian TV series, Ekaterina, about the life of Catherine the Great,  which originally aired on Russia 1 TV, a few years ago.   My Russian vocabulary consists of only a dozen or so words these days, having forgotten most of what I learned in two years of high school Russian class, but thankfully this series has English subtitles.  The series emphasizes the endless palace intrigue, the imperial scheming of Empress Elizabeth of Russia and especially the machinations of the secret police.  Elizabeth had seized the crown in a coup d’etat, having the infant heir to the throne, Ivan VI,  imprisoned for his entire life.

This long history of Russian state secret police and the Russian people being culturally indoctrinated to the supreme power of the state to control their lives, to invade their privacy at will, and to basically monitor all of their activities has been the norm since medieval times.  I’ve written about this before on my blog, in a 2016 blog post, The War of Words (Part 2):

I have been thinking a great deal about what I consider cultural DNA, with how peoples the world over develop patterns of behavior ( culture) that endure, despite the changes in government.  In fact, the people’s behavior determines how long and how much control they will tolerate from their government, to maintain the status quo and social order.

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Above: My copy of “Letters from Russia.  To the right is a folk-art wooden container my son brought back from Russia, painted in a Russian folk art style called Khohkloma.

Thinking about what to write in this Part 2 post, I ordered a book, which I had read about a long while back, that explains the Russian cultural DNA, a few years after Alexis de Tocqueville traveled to America.  That cultural DNA still persists in Russia today.  The book is “Letters from Russia” and like de Tocqueville’s, “Democracy in America”, the book on Russia was written by another French nobleman, Astolphe de Custine.  Although his trip to Russia in 1839 was only three months long,  he captured life in Russia under the despot, Czar Nicholas I, in such prescient, stark detail, that historians still study his letters.  His book was banned by both, Czar Nicholas I and the Bolsheviks, who didn’t much like Custine’s letters.  I can relate, heck, my posts on the Excite message boards in 1998 evoked quite a response too and there I was fighting hordes of new posters who showed up to take over the boards with the Clinton talking points……… hummm, I likened them to being like Genghis Khan.

In their own words these two French nobleman present their opinions on the cultural DNA differences between a people who accept rulers and a people who don’t.  In 1996, renowned journalist, Steven Erlanger, wrote a NY Times piece on Custine’s book, that gives you Custine in his own words.  Here’s a short excerpt:

“In Russia, everything you notice, and everything that happens around you, has a terrifying uniformity; and the first thought that comes into the traveler’s mind, as he contemplates this symmetry, is that such entire consistency and regularity, so contrary to the natural inclination of mankind, cannot have been achieved and could not survive without violence. . . . Officially, such brutal tyranny is called respect for unity and love of order; and this bitter fruit of despotism appears so precious to the methodical mind that you are told it cannot be purchased at too high a price.

Faced with the pervasiveness of the secret police and the immensity of the bureaucracy, Custine at first is shocked. He sees the dead weight that these hordes of state employees place on Russia, and their own dehumanization.

Among Russian officials, attention to detail is quite compatible with disorganization. They go to a great deal of trouble to achieve some petty end, never satisfed that they have done enough to demonstrate their zeal. Consequently, in this rivalry between employees, one formality does not guarantee the foreigner against another. It is like a pillaging army: because the traveler has passed through the hands of one regiment, this does not prevent him from meeting another, or a third, and each of these bands spaced out along his route vies with the last in harassing him.”

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/16/weekinreview/word-for-word-marquis-de-custine-long-ago-look-russia-so-what-else-new.html?pagewanted=all

Interestingly, in the introduction to “Letters from Russia”, editor, Anka Muhlstein,  presents the bulls-eye de Tocqueville quote on the difference between America and Russia:

“There are on earth today two great peoples who, having started from different points, seem to be advancing towards the same end: they are the Russians and the Anglo-Americans.  They both grew up in darkness and whilst Europeans were busy elsewhere, they suddenly placed themselves in the forefront of nations, and the world learned at almost the same time of their births and their greatness

All other nations seem, more or less, to have reached the limits nature has assigned to them and within which they now need only to remain, but those two are still growing…. America is struggling against obstacles of nature,; Russia against men…. The principal means of action for the one is liberty, for the other servitude.”

Letters from Russia, by Astolphe de Custine, edited and with an introduction by Anka Muhlstein, page ix of the introduction.

America is the only place on earth that broke that mold completely and set up a government meant for the people to have control over the government and for the individual’s rights to be paramount.

We are a nation built by free-thinking and free-acting citizens.

The Russian/American “cultural DNA” dichotomy precludes many American analysts from easily grasping the Russian’s dependence on “reflexive control”,  but looking at it from another angle helps.  The Russians don’t have the military might to rely predominantly on military force to achieve their geopolitical aspirations, but they have centuries of experience developing vast spy networks, compiling massive information operations and for engaging in using psychological operations to exert control over factions inside Russia and in their foreign policy.

Americans, on the other hand, understand military force as the way America fights its enemies.  Although we have the most sophisticated technological means to gather information; we just don’t seem to be very adept at developing a comprehensive strategy to utilize information for information warfare operations.

However, America’s partisans, colluding with sympathetic media, have been waging sophisticated SPIN information warfare against each other and against the American people since the early 90s.  Perhaps our military and intel information experts might at some point realize that the Russians are working to fuel the extreme American partisanship, by fanning the flames of our own domestic scorched earth SPIN information war.

Ending the American scorched earth SPIN information war would be a giant blow to the Russians’ info war operations in America.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Military, Politics

Still burning bright

It’s hard to believe we are approaching the close of 2018… and America is still stuck on 2016 campaign corruption.  There are plenty of facts, pointing to corruption, with both candidates.  However, “facts” hold little sway in this neverending 2016 scorched earth spin information war.  Yet, it still burns on.

Americans have heard both sides repeating their version of “The Truth” so many times, that for many of us, our minds drift off into a zombie-like trance as soon as 2016 rehashing begins.  However, for the politically active and engaged Americans, it still looks like they haven’t been burned out by this relentless 2016 scorched earth spin war yet.

Last Friday, James Comey, former FBI director, testified in a closed-door hearing before the combined Judiciary & Oversight committees in the House.  The transcript of that hearing was released over the weekend.  The Republicans grilled Comey, looking for answers on the FBI’s handling of Clinton & Trump related matters during 2016.  The Democrats did another Comey flip, this time they love James Comey and sang his praises, although in 2016 many of them were berating him, demanding his handling of the Weiner laptop probe should be investigated and that he should be fired.  Pelosi and Cummings, both railed that the FBI had “Trump fanboys” who needed to be investigated.  Many of the same Dems, who railed against Comey’s 2016 actions, now act like Comey cheerleaders.

The Republicans, who organized this hearing, are still asking many of the same questions of James Comey, they’ve been asking since 2016, and they’re still hitting an “I don’t remember” Comey brick wall.  Over 200 times Comey could not remember, suffering from what appears to be a severe case of selective amnesia.

Despite Comey’s memory issues, he has now found his new public voice as a “Hillary fanboy”…  The entire spectacle of James Comey trying to become a media gadfly to trash Trump, praise Hillary and act as the defender of truth, justice and the American way only casts more doubt on Comey as a nonpartisan director of the FBI.

James Comey sacrificed his credibility and compromised his integrity in his ruthless quest to take down Donald Trump. However, before that, it sure looks like Comey gradually sacrificed it by going along with the Loretta Lynch/Clinton efforts to bury the FBI criminal investigations of the Clintons. Comey appears to have completely bought into the Dem’s Trump/Russian collusion op dirt, without ever verifying who paid for the Steele dossier or even verifying the information. Even now, he doesn’t want to be questioned about the Steele dossier or what parts of it were ever verified. That Steele dossier information was used in FISA warrant applications.

JK posted a link in a comment for the U.S District Court for District of Columbia’s memorandum opinion by Judge Royce C. Lamberth.  This Dec. 6th opinion relates to questions still unanswered about the State Department’s responses to inquiries of its efforts to respond to FOIA requests for Hillary’s officials Secretary of State emails.  This FOIA request matter goes back to 2014 and still the State Department hasn’t satisfied the court that it made a good faith effort to locate the requested information.  It’s quite amazing to read this opinion from a federal judge, who put into writing that he still doesn’t have answers as to whether Hillary set up running her State Department emails through Bill’s personal Clinton Foundation server to “intentionally flout FOIA”.  While Comey may engage in spin games, complaining about House Republicans still asking questions about Hillary’s emails, it seems a federal judge has plenty more questions about Hillary’s emails too.

Robert Mueller may have solid evidence that President Trump committed crimes, but with Comey’s public halo polishing antics, Comey’s credibility and judgment make him an angel trying to fly with a permanently tarnished halo and even worse, no wings.  The costume store must have been fresh out of extra-tall Superman costumes to fit his 6’8″ frame, but never let it be said, when it comes to  self-righteous media spectacles, James Comey, sans halo or cape, will still keep sanctimoniously preening on and on and on.  The one thing publicly tangling to drag Trump or the Clintons to justice seems to do is destroy the reputations of those trying to fight their corruption, while Trump, just like the Clintons remains unscathed.  Trump and the Clintons, at this point, seem to be above the law.  Comey’s smarmy interviews, trying to sound full of righteousness and then coupling that with calling on Americans to support Democrats, speaks to a man who has lost not only his moral compass, he’s lost any vestige of credibility on anything related to Trump or Hillary.  He’s reduced himself to sounding like a political hack.

If Mueller has a case against Trump and he’s banking any of it on James Comey as a witness, it seems likely to be a total PR disaster for Mueller.  The crimes that smack you in the face with Trump are his witness tampering and obstruction of justice antics, played off by Trump mouthpieces, as just Trump letting off steam tweeting.  Just like Bill Clinton, Trump benefits from the protection of the presidential shield and unlimited access to media willing to sell his “victim of a partisan witch hunt” spin for as long as it takes.

If past is prologue, for 20 years, the mainstream media still run the “Hillary victim of a vast, right-wing conspiracy” spin. Trump may not read much, but he’s memorized the Clinton Scandal Survival Playbook.  Impeachment proceedings loom more menacingly for Trump, as House Dems plot their “destroy Trump” investigative schedule, but their two long years of unhinged and undisciplined media attacks on Trump have done as much, possibly more, to destroy their own credibility than Trump’s.  Trump still benefits from the Dem #Resist media hysterics.  Whether that will save him from impeachment remains to be seen.

America remains still aflame in 2016 scorched earth spin…

So much winning… for America’s enemies.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Hillary's Email Scandal, Information War, Politics, Public Corruption

Fears and worst fears

After two years of the mainstream media and Dems breathlessly reporting that, this time really is “the beginning of the end” of Trump’s presidency, perhaps Robert Mueller might be winding toward the end of his Russian interference in 2016 investigation.  These #Resist spin mouthpieces have set the stage for massive unrest among the #Resist loyalists, if Mueller fails to deliver the blow that fells Trump’s presidency.  Some sort of consolation prize, “he acted corruptly, but not enough to warrant a criminal prosecution”, will not satisfy their thirst for Trump to be vanquished from the public square.

With Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, striking a plea deal with Mueller’s team and recent revelations about Trump actively pursuing a Russian real estate deal for a Trump Tower Moscow, in 2016, as he was at the same time running for president, it’s clear Trump lied repeatedly, when he claimed he had no dealings with Russia.  How far up and how deep were Trump’s Russian ties remains unclear, but Trump admitted to and airily dismissed the efforts to make a real estate deal with Russia in 2016.

The revelation of the Cohen assertion about a Trump/Russia deal effort in 2016 and Trump’s response to that assertion explains everything about how Trump operates.  He follows the same spin playbook as the Clintons – deny, when lies are exposed dismiss, deflect and project back at your accusers.  Trump has mastered Hillary’s “victim of a political witch hunt” spin game and it’s still working for him with his loyal followers.

Regardless of what facts Mueller’s investigation exposes, the Trump Spin Force  will automatically dismiss, deflect and defiantly delegitimize Mueller’s report and findings as nothing more than a partisan witch hunt.

If these two sides, readying for an epic spin battle, aren’t enough, there’s also the House Republicans waging one more, last-ditch effort, to uncover the facts surrounding the Comey FBI and Obama top intelligence people embracing the Steele dossier, a Clinton & DNC funded opposition research effort, despite being unable to independently verify it.  It seems likely the House Republicans also have some questions for Comey regarding his handling of the Clinton email and Foundation pay-to-play investigations.

Finally, there are the House Dems compiling a massive investigative schedule to bury the Trump administration in subpoenas and enough negative press to completely immobilize the Trump White House.  While Mueller has remained silent and we still don’t really know what his findings are, the House Dems will be running their “investigations” in the most grandstanding way possible, with the mainstream media aiding and abetting sensationalizing every allegation, no matter how flimsy the evidence.  While Trump laments the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt”,  the truth is Trump’s about to find out what a real political witch hunt looks like, as the House Dems wage nuclear level spin attacks on him.

While, sometime very soon the media and political pundits expect some sort of massive “shit show”, being the term tossed around frequently, with these many forces at play in this never-ending 2016 scorched earth spin battle, it seems likely to me, America will be in dire straits.   Unchecked, self-destructive, partisan information warfare will leave only smoldering ashes of our decimated political system.  As I’ve warned for years, there will be no winners in America’s epic spin information war… except for America’s enemies.

A personality like Trump, being cornered and perhaps facing “losing bigly”, well, he won’t be graciously stepping down.  As his admirers tout… “he’s a disruptor”, so how far he’ll go, to take down the whole American political system, remains an open question.  My worst fear remains that, if both the massive Trump and massive Clinton 2016 corruption ever get totally exposed, America’s worst nightmare will be Trump and the Clintons uniting to save themselves from ruin.

Sounds crazy, I know, but that’s where I worry America will end up… trapped in spin hell with Hillary and Trump colluding to silence the truth.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics, Public Corruption

Odd timing

Since there are still more details unknown than known with what’s going on with Paul Manafort and “Trump/Russian collusion”, here are a few bits of news headlines that have me pondering, both timing and possible connections.

Let’s pretend we’re standing in Putin’s shoes the past few days…

November 25, 2018 – NBC reports:

“Ukraine convened an emergency meeting of what it called its war cabinet on Sunday after it accused Russia of having fired on three of its vessels in the Black Sea, injuring at least six sailors.

Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, confirmed that it had seized what it called three Ukrainian “warships,” saying they had trespassed into Russian territorial waters. It said that “weapons were used to force the Ukrainian warships to stop” and that three Ukrainian service members were treated for minor injuries, TASS, the official Russian news agency, reported Sunday night.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/russia-attacks-seizes-three-ukrainian-naval-vessels-coast-crimea-black-n939876

A hue and cry of international condemnation of Russian aggression and demands for UN and/or US to take action ensues.

November 26, 2018 – American news breaks on Manafort.  Politico reports:

“Special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of violating the plea deal he agreed to earlier this year by repeatedly lying to prosecutors and FBI agents during recent debriefing sessions.

In a report filed with a federal judge Monday evening, Mueller’s office alleged that Manafort “committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters.“ Prosecutors said the alleged lies leave Manafort exposed to the possibility of a more severe prison sentence under federal guidelines, but they did not elaborate on what exactly he allegedly lied about.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/26/mueller-manafort-plea-deal-lying-1017278

November 27, 2018 – The British Guardian paper runs this thinly sourced story about Paul Manafort meeting with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2016:

“Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told.

Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.

It is unclear why Manafort wanted to see Assange and what was discussed. But the last meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A well-placed source has told the Guardian that Manafort went to see Assange around March 2016. Months later WikiLeaks released a stash of Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence officers.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/27/manafort-held-secret-talks-with-assange-in-ecuadorian-embassy

The timing of this Guardian story is just too perfectly timed to throw the American media into another “Trump/Russian collusion” hysterical spin cycle and with Republicans in the House subpoenaing James Comey and Loretta Lynch, America is sure to begin 2019,  just like we began 2017 and 2018… still stuck in 2016 scorched earth hell.  And with the pressure building with the Mueller investigation potential endgame moves in sight, Putin would assuredly like to see Trump afraid to cross him, for fear of more leaks, but even more than that Putin would love to see America descend further into “political schizophrenia”.

No bright spots for America’s political system to move to more stable ground in the foreseeable future

We’re stuck in this endless spin cycle of … chaos and more chaos.

 


 

Here’s how I see the Russian hand of cards:

Russian intelligence knows what, if any parts of the Steele dossier, have any veracity.

Russian intelligence knows all about Paul Manafort.

Russian intelligence knows all about the dumb Don Jr. with the Russian lawyer.

Russian intelligence knows all about Trump’s financial dealings, especially if there are any connected to Russians.

Russian intelligence has a vast collection of compromising information on the Clintons.

Russian intelligence has all of the emails that were on the Clinton family server, to include all of Hillary and Huma’s emails, the yoga schedules and wedding plans AND the Bill Clinton foundation emails, which that server was set-up for in the first place.

Russian intelligence has all of the emails that were on the DNC server.

Russian intelligence has all of John Podesta’s emails.

Putin knows everything Trump agreed to in their private July 16, 2018 meeting.

This Guardian leak sure seems like Putin playing World Cup level geopolitical soccer.

Trump doesn’t even know how soccer is played… but he does understand threats, so expect more Trump spin diversions and hysterics, to deflect attention away from himself and more attacks on Mueller’s investigation.

Putin knows Trump is cornered and afraid, leaving Putin free to push his weight around on the world stage without challenge.  The odds of Trump responding forcefully against Russian aggression in Ukraine seem very low.

Putin is banking on America descending further into banana republic territory, with partisan squabbling over 2016 Trump/Russian collusion and Clinton, Steele dossier and Comey/Lynch corruption.  Putin will just keep tossing out banana peels in the western press, to keep American partisans slipping further into spin chaos.

 

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics

Not a single bright spot in this election

Decided to write a short post on the upcoming mid-term elections, since that’s the big news until next Tuesday.  I don’t know if the Republicans will keep or lose control of the House.  Regardless how the election turns out, President Trump’s disgusting antics hyping this Central American migrant caravan heading to the border, along with FOX news’ non-stop agitation propaganda hyping it as some ominous “invasion force” coming to spread destruction and disease,  goes to a new level of Soviet-level propaganda in American media.

For one who thought the Left’s relentless SPIN repetitive messaging information war was the most dangerous propaganda effort in American history, well this latest Trump/FOX  “invasion force” effort has given me a great deal of pause.  It’s hard to believe just a few short weeks ago, the anger I felt about the Dems and mainstream media vicious, orchestrated SPIN character assassination of Brett Kavanaugh had moved me to being a bit more sympathetic toward President Trump.

Leave it to Trump to choose the most divisive, self-destructive path toward ostensibly campaigning for Republican candidates by handing his political enemies a daily super-sized supply of free ammo to use against him and Republicans, that Dems can just kickback and rerun clips of daily streams of Trump bilge.  Trump has managed to sideline the Republican candidates in these races and turn it into all about himself… and the “invasion force”.

President Trump made some bizarre comments on illegal immigration late in the day yesterday.  He keeps hyping the military force he’s ordered to the border to help “repel the invasion force”.  The units being sent are NOT combat units, so all Trump’s hyperbole is just heavy doses of fear mongering to dupe his followers.  He made some comment about the military will shoot back if any migrants throw rocks.  What the military will be doing is working to prevent a humanitarian disaster, they aren’t going to be attacking unarmed migrants.  That FOX news and Trump’s strident pundit mouthpieces cheer on Trump’s saber-rattling is unforgivable.  Funny how so many of these same people would have been screaming bloody murder if any other president was diverting thousands of US troops to the border, when the military struggles to meet its obligations carrying out all the other vital national security missions around the world.  Yet they abandon or talk themselves around to supporting Trump’s morally bankrupt political theater antics every time.  At some point, these people look as pathetic, corrupt and as disgusting as the Democrats they revile.

If Republicans manage to hang on to the House, Trump will proclaim it’s all because of his reprehensible fear mongering and repeating his GOP Insurgent schtick.  If Republicans lose control of the House, rest assured, Trump will take none of the blame.

All that is obvious is Trump has sunk the Republican Party to a level of dishonesty, hypocritical posturing and abhorrent identity politics that rivals the Democratic Party, which leaves America with two totally corrupt parties.  No matter who wins on Tuesday, our political parties will continue to careen toward factionalizing America, to the point of being ungovernable.

There’s not a single bright spot in this election.

Update 11/2/2018:  President Trump walked back his bluster from yesterday asserting US troops would respond with force to migrants who throw rocks at them.  CNN reports:

“When the Trump administration first asked the Pentagon to send troops to the southern border, they wanted them to perform emergency law enforcement functions, CNN has learned.

The Pentagon said no.
According to two defense official familiar with the request, the Department of Homeland Security asked that the Pentagon provide a reserve force that could be called upon to provide “crowd and traffic control” and safeguard Customs and Border Protection personnel at the border to counter a group of Central American migrants walking to the US border to request asylum.
The Pentagon rejected the request on October 26, according to one of the officials, even as it signed off on providing DHS with air and logistics support, medical personnel and engineers.”

 

Also this:

“Defense officials have repeatedly emphasized the troops at the border are there to support civil authorities and that they are not expected to come into any contact with migrants.”

 

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American Insurgency worries

Earlier today, an anonymous New York Times op-ed, I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration, ignited another Trump meltdown.  In the first minutes after reading this op-ed, I was angered at the smug self-righteous tone and disgusted by the dereliction of duty to actively engage in this:

“The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

The result is a two-track presidency.”

Our constitutional system bestows the power to a duly elected president, not to a bunch of selected presidential staffers.

However, within a short while, after thinking about this op-ed and the bigger picture events of the President now completely surrounded by FOX News Spin Force advisors, a disturbing thought struck.

I believe this op-ed was not meant to reassure Americans that there are adults in the room, as the op-ed writer confided.  This op-ed was meant to incite President Donald J. Trump.  Coming right on the tail of the news media revelations yesterday of White House staffers unflattering comments about Trump, this was timed to push Trump over the edge and egg on more erratic firings and chaos.

Two of the main targets the news media consistently works to incite Trump against are the two remaining generals, John Kelly and Jim Mattis.  They were part of the mainstream media Woodward spin, quoting comments attributed to both generals that were very insulting of Trump.  They both issued statements refuting the Woodward quotes, but now along comes this letter, which went into detail of the foreign policy/national security efforts to thwart Trump’s impulses.

This op-ed sure smells like an orchestrated hit to prod Trump to oust the generals and stable foreign policy/national security advisers.

There are determined players behind the “GOP Insurgent” who really want way more than to see the GOP burn to the ground.  Their “drain the swamp” rhetoric brims with imagery of a coming American civil war and urgings of “burning down the entire system in Washington”.

I firmly believe this op-ed letter was meant to prod Trump into more rash and erratic behavior – especially mass firings from within his inner circle.  This op-ed assuredly was not meant to assuage concern or reassure Americans.

The most vital question, now more than ever, is for our national security experts to get a handle on the scope of our scorched earth SPIN information war and identify hostile foreign influences.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics, The Media

Jack Ryan enters the digital age

President Trump’s biggest advantages in the ongoing scorched earth  SPIN information war rest on his willingness to devote most of the energy of his presidency to waging scorched earth character assassinations and his use of his personal Twitter account to lob attacks that not only disrupt the Left/mainstream media SPIN attack, but to actually successfully win control of the SPIN cycles.  Although, everything in this information war takes on names and terminology that make it sound benign, even the shorthand name itself “spinning”,  our SPIN information war provides 24/7 media disinformation and confusion about basic facts on most news stories, foments extreme polarization and disunity, erodes America’s reputation abroad and fuels distrust of the news media and our political institutions.

Yesterday, I spent most of my day watching Amazon Prime’s new Jack Ryan series, after my youngest daughter sent me a message telling me it’s very good and she insisted I would like it.  She knew I was a Tom Clancy fan back when the Cold War provided the setting of his stories.  The writers of this series took the Jack Ryan character and wrote him into a modern-day, fighting Islamic terrorists scenario rather than the Cold War.  I was hooked on this series quickly and watched 6 episodes yesterday.

I’ve often wondered if Tom Clancy was a Sidney Sheldon fan, because the Clancy plotting, using alarming, seemingly unconnected incidents around the globe, then gradually pulling all those incidents together in a dramatic, cataclysmic clash between the good and bad guys, reminded me a great deal of Sidney Sheldon’s high-octane, recipe for plot drama.  Clancy also added an unmatched ability to parlay highly technical military info into terms laymen could easily understand.

I bring this up, because binge-watching Jack Ryan, several things stuck in my mind about how the terrorists operate compared to the doddering hierarchy in our intel agencies.  The terrorists were using a rapid-fire digital means to transfer large sums of money in $10,000 increments, that the fictional new head of  ISIS, developed while studying international banking, living in France as a refugee since the 1980s.

Another interesting operational aspect was one that has been reported in the news in recent years as a means for how terrorists can communicate via some online computer games messaging applications.  The scene in the show, where the tech savvy intel peeps explain the use of a computer game messaging by the terrorists to older government officials, realistically depicts the generational gap when it comes to modern technology.  This gap runs much deeper in real life, I believe, and has caused a grave institutional blindspot to recognizing the threats posed by social media and even recognizing our SPIN information war as actual information warfare rather than benign political public relations work.

Many people working in law enforcement, national security, top military leadership and top government positions don’t use any social media.  In recent years, advice galore permeates warning people in government and law enforcement positions of responsibility to eschew or be very cautious in their social media use.  Too many of them are totally clueless of social media’s reach, so when young people in a foreign country are waging large protests or mobilize sophisticated terrorist recruitment video campaigns, with global reach, on shoestring budgets, often our elected officials and top executive branch officials seem amazed and alarmed, while still not bothering to study online social media and messaging platforms as a serious national security concern.

This awareness gap is, in and of itself, a gaping national security vulnerability. 

Back in 1990s our modern SPIN information war in America began as a one-sided, left-wing operation run by the Clinton’s political operatives.  These people introduced SPIN info war to America, although they masked it as just modern political PR efforts.

At the same time SPIN info war gained prominence among the Left, the political Right began to gain a foothold on using talk radio to galvanize conservatives.  By the late 90s, the SPIN-dominated mainstream media (Leftists) began to hype right-wing talk radio as a national security threat and after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 , a massive SPIN effort by the Left worked to create, what I believe is more urban myth than reality, a huge national security threat from right-wing militias… who communicated using online forums.  In 2016, the Left reinvigorated this old 90s scare-mongering with a vast, new national security threat – the “alt-right”… who, um, da-ding, were organizing and communicating… online.  All that is old is new again, especially in the world of the Left’s SPIN messaging campaigns.  They are relentlessly repetitive, in thought and deed, rerunning the same tired old themes trying to cast their political enemies as Nazis or gun-toting extremists.

The main media battlefield for SPIN information warfare in the 1990s was the 24/7  cable news networks, which spawned whole armies of partisan spinmeisters to wage non-stop spin war.  In 1996, Fox News opened a potent, new front, giving right-wing  partisans a foot on the national cable news SPIN information war battlefield.

President Trump, reportedly, does not use the internet or use email, but he does tweet from his private cell phone.  His information appears to be gleaned from extensive TV viewing of the cable TV news spin battles.  He also uses Twitter, but follows very few people  (47 follows today).  Although, Twitter does not explain exactly what “algorithms” they use to generate each user’s Twitter feed, it is safe to assume that it is based on your followers list, which informs what your interests are.  Trump’s Twitter feed should be of keen interest to America’s national security people, because he is so prone to exploitation and manipulation, with his Twitter supposedly being his only online information source.  Trump’s media follows include: The Drudge Report, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Jesse Waters, Geraldo Rivera, Diamond and Silk, Greta Van Susteren

Trump was burned retweeting an Ann Coulter tweet by a far-right extremist in the UK, as I’ve mentioned before.  He also got burned earlier than the Coulter retweet over a of a Mussolini quote retweet.  Trump retweets stuff he sees in his Twitter feed.  Now, let that sink in as to the importance of knowing what on earth shows up in Trump’s Twitter feed and who determines what goes into his feed.  I feel sure Trump’s Twitter feed is not left to some benign algorithms to determine what he sees.

Social media political formats come and go.  The Excite message boards disappeared shortly after impeachment.  Much later I used the Yahoo politics chat rooms, always looking for a way to find an online medium to expose what happened to me in 1998.  The yahoo politics chat room crowd migrated to another chat room messaging site, same as how the National Review Disqus comment section ended and supposedly a couple of  NRO Disqus moderators migrated to Qwiket to set up a NR refugee comment section.  Very quickly that Qwiket NRO refugee site morphed into a more modern version of The Drudge Report… The America First News.

Another interesting 2016 site conversion was the site, The Conservative Treehouse, which sports Andrew Breitbart images on the main page wallpaper background.  This site was heavily invested in selling “crowdsourcing” investigations into the black grievance industry pre-Trump.  They do come up with a lot of interesting information, that “crowdsourcing” from commenters does not explain.  They also run the image of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier weekly and post Bible verses to present the image of a conservative right-wing site.  That site morphed into Trump Polling Central during 2016, with detailed, up-to-the-minute Trump rally and polling information.  I suspect both might be foreign front operations.  That the popular Disqus comment section at National Review would be dismantled in 2016, months before the election, then refugees directed to this Qwiket site (there was a piece in The Corner at National Review announcing this Qwiket location) and then that Qwiket location become a another DrudgeReport type news aggregate site with a comments section seems more than a tad odd.  It looked to me like a deliberate effort to sabotage and demolish National Review’s NeverTrump hold-outs.

I’m writing all this, because the “Fake News” hysteria was spin from the Left to use as cover to prod facebook to censor Trump-supporters on facebook and gin up the “Trump/Russian Collusion” spin hysterics.  Trump hijacked that “fake news” spin and turned it right around on the Left.  In recent months allegations of  “shadow-banning” and muting conservatives on facebook and Twitter began rumbling.  A couple weeks ago, several online social media platforms acted in unison to ban Alex Jones from their sites.

This seems to me like a precursor to setting the stage to disband Twitter politics.  The only problem is American journalists rely on the SPIN messaging advantage Twitter provides them to within minutes, using the power of rapid-fire, mass retweets of Dump on Trump “news” stories, to generate SPIN cycles to attack Trump.

Until the Left and mainstream media, who collude constantly to spread Trump dirt, find another online platform, for now Twitter looks to be their default online battlefield.  If they work to dismantle Twitter to take down Trump, they are left with an online vacuum and Trump still controls the POTUS bully pulpit.  All these media hysterics about whether to cover WH briefings, let Kellyanne speak, not cover POTUS are all part of the SPIN information war, not about seriously reporting the news.  That so many “journalists” engage in these debates publicly speaks to the total corruption of American news reporting,  They are as much invested in SPIN information warfare as President Trump.

And back to my original line of thought (until I veered off a bit).  There’s a serious problem when top national security policymakers have no real concept of the power of social media platforms, no realization of the serious threat our scorched earth SPIN information war really is, and remain totally unaware of the importance of becoming well-versed in social media operations as another potent means for information warfare to be waged both in and against America.

We have top generals who don’t have any idea about the power of social media, messaging apps or the grave threat that a SPIN war run amok can create an information void, caused by an overload of SPIN messaging being disseminated and no calm, serious means to sift through the SPIN pile-on to get quick, accurate, reliable information to the American people.  In this SPIN hysteria mode, with the media vs. Trump often running through several spin cycles a day now, it’s becoming obvious that at some point social media and/or SPIN-generated hysteria will incite mass hysteria incidents, flash mobs, or worse.

Are America’s top national security leaders aware and ready for this looming threat?

 

 

 

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Military, Politics, The Media