Category Archives: Twitter Tales

Timelines matter

For me, the most serious issue in the entire 2016 scorched earth SPIN information war remains the corruption of top official U.S. intelligence and FBI decision-making based on politicized, spun information being fed to them by partisan sources.   From following the 8 years of the Obama administration’s use and abuse of government information, from the IRS scandal weaponizing processes to target right-wing political groups to Clinton-connected lawyers feeding op dirt information into the DOJ, State Department, and FBI, there were many disturbing actions reeking of weaponizing government information for partisan purposes.

At the same time, negative Clinton campaign dirt on Trump was being fed into official Obama administration channels, the FBI, reportedly, had two open criminal investigation into the Clintons – one was Hillary’s email investigation and the other was multiple field office investigations into the Clinton Foundation on pay-to-play corruption.

At top levels of the Obama administration, it seems to me, they wanted to grasp at any wisps of dirt on Trump and build it into treasonous “Russian collusion” and at the same time, bury and dismiss real evidence of grossly negligent handling of highly classified information and Clinton Foundation corruption.  The seeming two separate standards of justice disturbs me.

James Comey, former FBI director, to this day remains sketchy on explaining what he knew about the Steele dossier’s provenance.  Likewise, his explanation of his decision making in recommending no charges in the Clinton email investigation, back in July 2016, makes no sense.  Later still, with the DOJ IG report’s findings regarding the email investigation, Comey’s answers about the FBI leaking, for which the IG found Andrew McCabe, lacked candor and found Comey’s version more credible, don’t sit right with me.

Those McCabe leaks to the media were unauthorized and designed to counter leaks about the FBI investigation of Clinton Foundation pay-to-play corruption.  McCabe leaking was initiated to silence leaks coming out of the FBI’s NY field office  Those field office leaks dealt with the tens of thousands of Hillary State Dept. emails the FBI found on the Weiner family laptop, while investigating the Anthony Weiner texting scandal.

Comey’s actions juxtaposed to his explanations smell of deceit.  He went along with the Clinton spin effort in July of 2016 to bury the email investigation and his clumsy effort of reopening that investigation and doing a quickie investigation of the Weiner laptop, was just an effort to quell the leaks coming out about the Clinton Foundation corruption and Weiner laptop.  That quickie Weiner laptop investigation was just cover dressing for him to bury both FBI criminal investigations of the Clintons, and hopefully secure his position and standing with whom he believed would be his next boss – Hillary Clinton.

When he was fired, Comey led the media SPIN charge, by leaking FBI memos of notes (some reportedly containing classified information) that he typed up on FBI equipment, after his private meetings with President Trump.  He sent these memos to a friend, who leaked them to the media.  Later, after negative press about these memos, Comey declared that the friend, Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, was his attorney.  This move seemed to be an attempt to tie a pretty bow on a stinking heap of corrupt Comey leaking, which was designed to create a media SPIN furor over Comey’s firing and create political pressure for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump and his campaign on “Russian collusion”.

However, it seems to me, that in understanding our domestic spin war timeline, we need to go back to its beginnings in the 90s,  and keep referring to notes from then to now.  Of course there’s Team Clinton vs Team GOP ( vast, right-wing conspiracy in Hillary’s view), but in the 2008 election Team Obama emerged too and while Team Obama and Team Clinton unite on most efforts to thwart Team GOP, on some others Team Obama tries to distance itself from Team Clinton.

In early 2016, it seems to me some of Team Obama at the top were all-in for Team Clinton, while others were less enthused and at various points with these two ongoing FBI criminal investigations of the Clintons, at the very top, President Obama and his inner-circle were debating whether to throw the Clintons to the FBI hands of justice and have Vice President, Joe Biden, enter the race or help the Clinton machine bury the FBI investigations.

I believe Bill Clinton directly pressured President Obama in 2015 to make the email scandal go away.  I believe that by the summer of 2016 and the email scandal still lingering, Bill Clinton was livid and I believe that is why he took matters into his own hands and orchestrated the tarmac meeting with Loretta Lynch directly, to set in motion the “for appearances sake only” 4th of July weekend FBI interview of Hillary and the orchestrated Clinton machine spin to be the end of the email investigation.

Comey decided to place his future in the hands of Team Clinton and he went along with Lynch’s corrupting the process, by refusing to recuse herself after the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, while abdicating her prosecutorial duties to Comey.  Nothing Comey said at that July press conference made sense – especially the part about how Hillary showed no intent to break the law.  He waxed on about “intent”.

Timelines matter to me, when trying to understand events.  Personal connections along those timelines help create a clearer picture, at least in my mind of the story.  James Comey plays clueless on what he knows about the provenance of the Steele dossier.  He also plays clueless on the provenance of the Clinton private server.

Bill Clinton had that server set up in their home in the summer of 2008, after Hillary suspended her 2008 campaign.

At the moment the Attorney General is putting together a team to look at the provenance of the Trump-Russia investigation.

I haven’t sorted out the Mueller report findings in my head yet and am still reading it and mulling over the information.

Andrew McCarthy can be relied on to give fact-based analysis of legal matters and he wrote another must-read piece, The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses, at National Review today.

A line in McCarthy’s excellent piece stuck out at me, because it prodded something that’s been missing in the provenance of the Clinton email investigation too and it explains that “intent” issue James Comey says was absent.

I tweeted this tweet thread this morning:

Interesting: “Downer has a history with the Clintons that includes arranging a $25 million donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2006, when he was Australia’s foreign minister and then-senator Hillary Clinton was the favorite to become U.S. president in 2008.”

Here’s an interesting Clinton Foundation fact too, from the FBI Notes released in September of 2016. Justin Cooper, Bill Clinton’s aide/IT guy, told the FBI Bill Clinton’s personal email server was set up around June 2008.

10:07 AM – 6 May 2019

(Sorry the link didn’t copy – https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-documents-in-hillary-clinton-e-mail-investigation)

Bill Clinton was having a personal Clinton Foundation server installed in their home, as Hillary suspended her presidential campaign. She left the race over $22 million in debt.

She couldn’t do political fundraising as Sec of State. She merged her State Dept business with the Clinton Foundation business on the family personal email server. 🤨

Never fear, Hillary always finds a way to “power through it” 🧘‍♀️:

Timelines matter, they really do.

 

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Filed under General Interest, Hillary's Email Scandal, Politics, Public Corruption, Twitter Tales

My Twitter/Stitching Multitasking

Today, President Trump took to Twitter retweeting some far-right loon, who was banned from facebook, tweeting out a message for Kim Jong Un and praising Putin. The Kim Jong Un tweet rightfully evoked outrage and is disgraceful coming from a U.S. president:

Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!

Quite a Saturday morning for a president who should be studying serious US policy issues and actions.  Instead, he was on Twitter trying to be the center of the news cycle and generating negative reactions from the mainstream media and Left.  He never learns and he never actually bothers to focus on anything other than promoting himself on social media and TV.

With President Trump, it’s always about his “popularity” and promoting his reality TV show presidency.  Seriously, he brags about how many “followers” he has on Twitter and perhaps, in the future, looking back on this time in our history,  Trump’s ascent to the highest office in the land will serve as a cautionary tale on the dangers of social media and Reality TV fame.

For the record, my Twitter following was at 51 this morning, so I’m destined to be unpopular and a voice in the wilderness on social media… which suits me fine.  Likewise, this blog is my lost in woods place where I just sit and write my observations.  I thank everyone, who stops by. Comments, even critical ones, are welcome (no profanity and name-calling, please).

After tweeting too much myself last night and this morning about the Clinton corruption, I decided it’s time to actually sit down and read through more of the Mueller report and take notes, like I did when reading through all of the released FBI Notes in 2016 on the Clinton email investigation.

I have been reading about Soviet propaganda since 1980, when I first became interested in this topic.  I had developed an interest in all things Russian in high school, having the luck to have a high school German teacher, who was a retired Army translator. He convinced the school administration to add Russian to our school’s foreign language offerings.  I studied German for 4 years and Russian for two years, but  have no knack for foreign languages.  Spending my adult life around the Army and being a frequent Army post library patron, I often happened upon Soviet-themed books.  My education is piecemeal at best and I am not an expert on anything, but I do know how to bake some pretty good cookies, lol.

Volume I of the Mueller report is filled with fascinating bits of information, but every time I see a redacted box labeled “Investigative Technique”, I experience a sense of disappointment, like I am deprived of the most fascinating aspect of this investigation.  Although, truth be told, I am totally clueless on technology and most of the cyber lingo, so probably wouldn’t understand most of those details anyway.

Took a photo of this report sitting it on my kids’ old rocking chair, where I have other books stacked.  The book, Legionary, which shows in the photo above the 9/11 Commission Report is one of my favorites – a sort of tongue -in-cheek “unofficial” Roman Soldier’s manual, filled with an amazing array of trivia and historical tidbits.  Page 6 has the Roman phrase, “conscribe te militem in legionibus. pervagare orbem terrarum. inveni terras externas. cognosce miros peregrinos. eviscera eos.”  (hope I copied that correctly)  The translation is, “Join the legions, see the world, travel to foreign parts, meet interesting and exotic people, and disembowel them.  I laughed out loud when I read that and it brought home to me that there is nothing new in the world  As a young soldier in 1980, I saw a poster that had a similar sentiment that is typical soldiers’ dark humor.  When I read this line, well, I was hooked.

Another odd habit of mine started in my early teens when, in a stack of hand-me-down paperbacks from my oldest sister, I acquired a beat-up copy of the Warren Commission Report. At this point in my life, after decades of pouring through “government reports”, I face new reports with dread, not eagerness to learn some fascinating tidbits.  Reading through the Mueller report is going to take me some time, as I have only read a few pages at a time and am still in Volume I.

This much I have gleaned Trump and his son, Don Jr. are not merely innocent victims of the Clinton smear campaign (which was real).  They were active players, embracing the Clinton spin and smear techniques, while trying to build their own smear merchant network of connections and media friends.  Trump operated the same sort of sleazy gutter politics as the Clintons.  He was massively under resourced compared to the deep-pockets of big donors the Clintons have, but he benefited from the Clintons’ own sleazy primary strategy (here and here) to get their media friends to promote the most extreme GOP candidates, in hopes of being able to employ Bill Clinton’s famous triangulation strategy.  Trump received billions of dollars in free media during the GOP primary, which elevated his profile and created the myth that Trump was  a “winner”.

However, the Mueller report, even in Volume I, which the media and Dems, pushing fevered impeachment dreams, skipped over in their rush to push obstruction of justice, indicates that Don Jr. was openly encouraging contacts with Wikileaks.  He was not a victim.  Wikileaks direct messaged Don. Jr. (page 60) and Don Jr. avidly direct messaged Wikileaks back seeking dirt on Hillary.  I stick to my original assessment since 2015 – Trump and Hillary are the same corrupt, mendacious, ruthless animal.  They will say or do anything to acquire prestige and power.  Neither is morally fit to be president.

I regret tweeting so much last night and this morning, but at least my time on Twitter wasn’t a total waste.  I started another plastic canvas needlepoint tissue box cover and managed to get one side done (photo at the top) and started the 2nd side.  I stitched as I followed Twitter.   This pattern is called In-the-Pink Zinnias, from an old plastic canvas leaflet:

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Filed under General Interest, Politics, Twitter Tales

Twitter cover-up?

Busy tweeting this morning, with so much to comment about. NBC reported on the email account linked to propelling the Covington boys and the Native American man incident to go viral. Buried down at paragraph 11, there’s this bit of information:

“On Wednesday afternoon, @2020fight deleted her Twitter account, seemingly after Twitter lifted her suspension. (Suspended accounts cannot be deleted.)”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/twitter-account-amplified-covington-catholic-d-c-march-video-appears-n961981

Why on earth would Twitter lift the suspension on this account at the center of the controversy?  If the account was actually an account in the San Francisco bay area, was it connected with some partisan political operation?  Shouldn’t the intent be to preserve an account with so many questions about it and even Democratic Senator Warner asking Twitter for more information about that account yesterday?.  Check out paragraph 2, which exonerates  the account holder of any malign intentions:

“But it appears that the account, @2020fight, was run not by a foreign operative trying to fan America’s political divisions but rather by a woman who described herself as a San Francisco Bay Area teacher and advocated liberal causes — and, to all appearances, did not expect to find herself at the center of a media firestorm.”

If the video wasn’t the result of foreign info operators, was it the result of domestic partisan info operators?  Starting to smell like the Dems corrupt Moore Alabama type operations might be a widespread Dem social media operation.

So, many questions…

Added Comment: January 25, 2019, 11:44 am,  The vague weasel words the media uses always cause my spin antennae to twitch.  In the 2nd paragraph, it begins, “but it appears” and ends with  “and, to all appearances”.  No one states whether those conducting the investigation into the account had any conversation or communication with the account holder(s).

The account triggered suspicions, because of the profile stating it was a CA school teacher, but the profile picture was a Brazilian blogger.  The CNN article quoted Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful:

“McDonagh said he found the account suspicious due to its “high follower count, highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging, the unusually high rate of tweets, and the use of someone else’s image in the profile photo.””

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/21/tech/twitter-suspends-account-native-american-maga-teens/index.html

What exactly does  “highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging,” mean?  Was it political messaging playing to (targeting) different political factions?  So, we don’t know what the messaging in the deleted account, with a very high rate of tweets,  which was crucial to propelling the Covington student/Nathan Phillips video to go viral, actually contained.  We need more information about what  McDonagh meant by “inconsistent political messaging”.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics, Twitter Tales, Uncategorized

Another worrying sign

“We may never know exactly how SPIN info war evolved or who all was involved in developing the techniques.  We may never know if hostile foreign intelligence was involved at its inception, but we assuredly know, with the escalated Russian cyber attacks and online troll activities, that they are definitely involved now.”

Thought from my previous blog post, About Information Voids

The weekend viral story of a  confrontation of Native American activist and some Catholic high school boys wearing MAGA hats seemed to charge ahead of the Buzzfeed story claiming President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie in testimony to Congress.

Tonight CNN has a report, Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy over viral encounter.

According to CNN, the good news is that Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful, an online content vetting service, was monitoring Twitter activity and noticed a suspicious account and Twitter investigated and suspended the account:

“The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it.

The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020,” its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.

Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”

That version of the video was viewed at least 2.5 million times and was retweeted at least 14,400 times, according to a cached version of the tweet seen by CNN Business.”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/21/tech/twitter-suspends-account-native-american-maga-teens/index.html

The CNN report also quotes Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher (anti-Trumper), even though she admitted she saw the tweet and retweeted it on Saturday, claiming, “she later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.”

I wonder if we have people in our national security apparatus paying close attention to this stuff or if America is at the mercy of random civilian cyber peeps to catch this stuff?

Added thought: I’ve wondered for a long time if some of these short-lived viral stories making Americans look too dumb to exist, that burst onto social media, create mass overreaction, and garner news notice, then disappear quickly are the work of hostile foreign information operations.  Seeing how this account plucked the video from an Instagram posting and then amplified on Twitter made me think about this again.  An example of what I mean, are stories like that viral Teens Eating Tide Pods story.  Just one more thing  I will continue to ponder about.

Update: January 22, 2019, 5:54 PM

The CNN report cited above was updated this afternoon.

“The source familiar with Twitter’s investigation told CNN Business the company’s initial findings suggested the account was run from the US, but said it can be difficult to determine an account owner’s actual location.
Twitter users can try to mask their true location using services like virtual private networks, which can allow users to appear as if they are in a different country.
CNN Business has not independently determined where this account was being run from.”
CNN Business also tried to reach out to the account holder(s) to inquire about the account, but was blocked by the account holder(s).  So, basically, they don’t know who the account really belongs to yet.

 

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics, Twitter Tales

Trump’s boring re-run

President Trump cabinet meeting/Reality Presidency Show season premiere today garnered huge media coverage.   Numerous comments the president made raised eyebrows and evoked critical media commentary, but the thing that struck me about this Trump show is it was a boring rerun of every other Trump show, when he’s trying to talk his way past some deepening controversy.

Trump really is a one-trick pony repeating the same media gimmicks over and over.

Today was a boring rerun of Trump’s staged attacks against his enemies.  It’s just like his May 31, 2016 press conference he staged to silence the controversy over the funds from his January 2016 debate temper tantrum, where he staged a vet fundraiser rally.  By the Spring of 2016, media questions started swirling about which veterans groups received funds from that January fundraiser and exactly how much money was raised:

Today, Trump repeated this same press conference, except he used his cabinet as stage props instead of some veterans, who support him.

Incoming Senator Mitt Romney penned a scathing op-ed about President Trump leadership and character for the Washington Post last night.  Romney stated:

“The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.

It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

This op-ed added to the growing criticisms of Trump’s handling of announcing a Syria pull-out via a tweet, without even informing our allies or his own national security team about the decision first.  The bad press escalated with General Mattis’ resignation as Secretary of Defense, followed by Trump’s spiteful announcement he was moving up Mattis’ departure.

As criticism over both Trump’s Syria decision and how he went about it escalated, the president began ramping up his mean tweeting in recent days.  He retaliated over the weekend when General McChrystal answered a reporter’s question about whether he would ever serve in the Trump presidency and whether he believes the president is immoral.  McChrystal, I believe, answered the questions honestly.  In typical Trump fashion, Trump decided to wage the only strategy he knows – a vicious divide and conquer attack.

We now have a POTUS committed to playing American generals against each other and even more disturbing, publicly undercutting top retired generals to curry favor with the troops.  He is undercutting confidence in the US military and its top leaders, all to win spin cycles…

The truth is these retired generals should tread very cautiously criticizing the President and avoid it.  Engaging in public spin attacks back and forth with Trump will only damage military morale and could easily begin to damage confidence in America’s top military leadership. If these retired generals or former Trump administration officials feel strongly about Trump’s competency, conduct in office and handling of  national security matters, the proper way to air that would be to testify to Congress, under oath.

The real big picture threat is America’s adversaries are watching the Trump Reality Presidency Show and they understand that Trump’s shallow narcissism makes him so easy to manipulate.  Since Erdogan talked Trump into pulling out of Syria, both Kim Jong Un and Putin made public overtures to Trump about more meetings.  They obviously feel confident they can easily play Trump again.   All it takes is stroking Trump’s ego, by praising him as a strong leader.  How much Trump will sell America down the river remains to be seen, but for a reality check, Trump doesn’t bother with facts or details.

The media latched onto a Trump comment in his presser that speaks to Trump’s colossal ignorance about American foreign policy and history.  Trump touted the Soviet view on their invasion of Afghanistan, not the Reagan foreign policy view.  It was a surreal comment coming from a sitting American president:

Trump: “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia.” This is simply not true. The Soviet Union ventured into Afghanistan as part of its effort to prop up communism abroad, not because terrorists were striking the Soviet homeland.

I also commented on a tweet by a top Trump Spin Commando this afternoon and added a few comments beyond that:

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics, Twitter Tales

A week of wild news loops

The DC news loops twirled into so many tangled knots this past week, that Tuesday’s bombshell firing of Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, by today feels like ancient news.  The era of Trump increased the speed of the 24/7 news cycle dramatically, with the news media spinning out of control, often reporting hours of poorly vetted and unvetted information via tweets and retweets on Twitter, which the cable and print media then circulate.  It leaves many Americans consuming incomplete or false information sold as “news”, but even more than that it creates such a large volume of information piled up, that it becomes a daunting task to even sift for facts.

A very disturbing effort at character assassination took place this week too.  With the announcement of Mike Pompeo as President Trump’s choice to replace Rex Tillerson, came the announcement that Gina Haspel, a Deputy Director of the CIA was nominated to become the CIA Director.  Haspel became the target of a concerted media effort to destroy her reputation and tar her as a war criminal, who oversaw torture of prisoners at a CIA black site.

Once Haspel’s good name and reputation were completely sullied, ProPublica, which ran the damning report, which sent the mainstream media into its full-throated smear effort, issued a correction.  They admitted they got the story wrong and Haspel wasn’t in charge of that CIA black site during the alleged interrogations (the ones the media dubs torture).  Then in the most amazing feat of hypocrisy and self-delusion, these very same “journalists” began tweeting praise for ProPublica’s transparency and how wonderful it was that they corrected the story.  There seemed to be no awareness that they and ProPublica deliberately spent days destroying the good name and reputation of Gina Haspel and NONE of these other journalists bothered to get off their butts and independently investigate the FACTS in ProPublica’s story.  They all ran with ProPublica’s story.

Once Tillerson was fired many big name reporters also began a high-pitched, non-stop whispering campaign, about which other cabinet officials President Trump was going to fire next, citing unnamed sources naturally.   Reporting like this, from ace Trump whisperer, NY Times journalist, Maggie Haberman highlights this type of reporting:

Your head will literally be spinning with some of her breathless innuendo, always presented as “facts” and always cited as having numerous WH sources close to the matter.  When her innuendo doesn’t pan out, she excuses it as Trump changed course, because of their reporting…  It’s really risky to report as “fact” things people have NOT done yet.  It’s also risky to report on the “thinking of one person” based on second and third hand sources, but this SPIN effort to deliberately paint the White House in chaos was a full-court mainstream media effort from Tuesday to Friday.  The mainstream media was determined to present the White House as crumbling.

Within the White House, this type of mainstream media SPIN effort fuels distrust and anxiety among the President’s staff, which is what the mainstream media SPIN effort was intended to do.  It is part of the Left’s effort to take down Trump.

President Trump plays into a lot of this chaos and he also seems to feed on the power trip of having his staff walking on eggshells, wondering if they might be next to be fired or perhaps in Trump’s reality TV presidency production, cliffhangers like this staff chaos are good for viewers.  He doesn’t seem to be able to view the presidency as a serious position of trust, which demands he behave befitting the Office of the President.  With him, the presidency plods along as a reality TV production, to the detriment of the American people, but even more to the detriment of himself, because he has done nothing to bridge any of the divides in America or win acceptance among of over half of the country.  He also has not managed to defeat the Left’s #Resist effort, so he is stuck in this endless, death-match SPIN battle.

Friday almost passed with no big bombshell Trump news, but then late last night news broke of Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, firing Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s #2 top guy.

Today has the mainstream media railing about how badly McCabe has been treated, quoting Eric Holder and John Brennan as moral guideposts and pretty much in a state of hysterics.  So much for any objectivity.  And of course, within hours, there was President Trump throwing more fuel on the fire, tweeting:

Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!

The Left, which includes most of the mainstream media and Trump are still locked in this scorched earth information war and it’s still a war where neither side seems to be able to win.

The clear loser, as usual, is the American people.  We are held hostage to their SPIN and trying to sort through the mountains of distortions, disinformation, misinformation and downright fabrications spewed by both sides is an almost impossible task, unless you have plenty of spare time to devote to fact-checking and research.

No end in sight anytime soon…  The 2016 scorched earth information war flickers on and on and on…

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Politics, The Media, Twitter Tales

Trump’s OODA loop

The Clinton/Obama/Dems/mainstream media coalition vs. Trump information war drags on and Trump continues to confound his enemies, who still react in dismay that he is still in office.

Both sides remain very committed to continuing the fight.  Trump often seems to act on gut instinct, instantaneously reading his enemies’ motives way more clearly than his enemies read him.  Trump learned his enemies’ information warfare strategy, but his enemies have no real understanding of how Trump won the election or how to counter his strategy.

Yesterday, I read an editorial piece by Josh Marshall, Thoughts on the Greatness of Ulysses S. Grant, at TPM, which made me think about how Trump is still standing, despite the relentless information war being unleashed against him.  The piece is very interesting, so put aside your partisan blinders and read Marshall’s thoughtful views on Grant’s leadership and writing.  He offered some insights into Grant’s leadership, that I had never thought about before. Marshall writes about Grant’s transformational military leadership and the ways in which Grant threw the traditional military playbook out the window and experimented with maneuver warfare, but even more interesting than that insight, Marshall explains a theory of military operations, which Grant intuitively utilized to great advantage, even though the theory was not developed until a century later.  Marshall writes:

“A century later, a military intellectual and US Air Force Colonel named John Boyd developed a theory of military operations known by the shorthand “OODA loops.” OODA stands for the process of Observe – Orient – Decide – Act, a framework to think about the constant interaction between our observation of our environment and the decisions we make in how to respond to it. Boyd’s insight was that if a combatant can move through this cycle sufficiently faster than an adversary he can get inside his opponent’s ‘OODA loops’. Specifically, if you can move rapidly enough from observation to decision and action, you can change the environment your opponent has observed while they are still deciding how to react to it.That causes a cycle of missteps and confusion leading to defeat. Boyd, a fighter pilot, developed his theory around aviation dogfights. But without the acronyms, game theory and mathematics, it was a similar insight that was allowing Grant to see the impact of mobility in defeating his opponents. Speed is not simply the pace at which actions occur. Sufficient speed changes the nature of those actions or, more specifically, changes the reactions to them and in so doing changes them as well.”

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/thoughts-on-the-greatness-of-ulysses-s-grant

Marshall devotes a good portion of his piece to explaining the importance of writing reflecting clarity of vision and thought.  He asserts Grant’s writing reflects an amazing clarity and ability to express himself concisely, which is assuredly more important than style and fancy phrasing in a military leader.

While President Trump is in no way a military genius and it’s a safe bet he has never read either Grant’s autobiography or about Boyd’s OODA loops, Trump has an intuitive genius (yes, I hesitated using that word in relation to Trump) for throwing his political enemies off-balance and for controlling the information battlefield, which the Left learned to dominate and control using the sycophantic, liberal mainstream media to disseminate and saturate the media reporting with talking points, narratives, memes, all designed to manipulate and control public opinion.

For decades the SPIN form of information warfare  has allowed the Left to easily and successfully manipulate public opinion and reinforce it, by relentless repetition of the short talking points messaging filled with buzz words, which was then used to manufacture public opinion polling.  The polling, which was really the result of what amounted to mass media brainwashing, with the repetitive spin, was sold as the definitive marker on what Americans believe and it was used to marginalize conservatives and political opinions that deviated from the Left’s spin.

Trump’s opponents keep recycling through their tired spin attacks (his taxes, his lying, Russian collusion, his mental instability, the sexual predation allegations), but they keep failing to take him down.  Although most of Trump’s attacks are petty, filled with lies, often sound unhinged,  and more often than not, are rather sloppily written tweets, what Trump has done is completely break through the Left’s lock on controlling the SPIN cycle.

Observing Trump’s use of Twitter and his public speaking, it’s easy to dismiss Trump as a loudmouth, know nothing, corrupt, lying, reprehensible excuse of a leader.  His leadership, especially his penchant for playing even his own team members against each other, is assuredly toxic leadership, but when it comes to using his vastly smaller media platforms to fight the Left’s massively larger and powerful forces, Trump has learned to use his own charismatic showmanship to demolish their carefully constructed spin attacks and completely control the 24/7 news cycle, mostly using just his personal Twitter account and a handful of tweets a day.  He doesn’t rely on drafting cumbersome, focus group-tested wording or emailing talking points, then disseminating to thousands of operatives and friendly media Leftists.

Trump does watch a lot of TV news, which the Left is using to discredit Trump, but what they don’t understand is he watches and then, without giving away his next move, he tweets or makes a few public statements, which invariably throw the Left’s carefully orchestrated spin attacks into disarray.  Trump has an innate sense for how to manipulate the media, but he has a genius for getting inside his opponents’ OODA loops, leaving them scrambling and stuck recycling through their old spin attacks, while he has completely moved ahead of them and owned their information platforms.

Winning an information war is not about having the best “spin” or vast information platforms that far outmatch your opponents, it’s about understanding people and understanding the things that they care about.  Trump understands people and he has a canny knack for manipulating people.

Trump spins faster and more effectively than his enemies and he has demolished the Left’s control of America’s media information platforms… using mostly a free, personal Twitter account.  He doesn’t rely on expensive focus groups or fancy data experts; he trusts his own instincts.

Trump has broken through the Left’s information warfare OODA loops.

He broke through and demolished their SPIN cycle.

Whether he can win the information war remains to be seen, but he has the Left off-balance and in a constant state of panic, regrouping and recycling failed talking points messaging.

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