The think tank that has been pushing the narrative that Russian bots are behind Twitter hashtags critical of the #SchumerShutdown as well as #ReleaseTheMemo is at it again with yet another accusation that those same bots are pushing a pro-Second Amendment message in the aftermath of the Florida high school massacre.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy and its “tracking” website “Hamilton 68” have made claims that are now spreading like wildfire with the left seeing an opportunity to cram through an assault weapons ban that will ultimately lead to gun confiscation and the imposition of tyranny.
A driving force behind this organization is neocon propagandist and sworn enemy of President Trump, Bill Kristol. Former Bush administration official Michael Chertoff is also a member as well as John McCain’s go-between David Kramer who worked with scummy British spook Christopher Steele on the dissemination of the discredited Fusion GPS dirty dossier.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy is a part of the pro-NATO German Marshall Fund which has a vested interest in a lucrative new cold war against Russia with the added bonus of stifling American political dissent along the way. It’s the natural evolution of the war on terror which was too limiting but now that the surveillance and control systems are in place, the beast has evolved.
This is the next phase of a much larger operation to censor social media, defund and silence conservative voices and as we can now see as a part of the bigger overall endgame – disarming American gun owners who will now be linked to (drumroll please…) RUSSIA!
— The Hill (@thehill) February 20, 2018
A day after the deadly school shooting in South Florida, Twitter saw a spike in tweets about gun violence from Russian-linked accounts.
Hamilton 68, a website that tracks Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence campaigns, identified trending hashtags and topics on Thursday, including #Parkland, #guncontrolnow, #Florida and #guncontrol, as well as Nikolas — the name of the accused shooter — Wired reported.
Another website run by RoBhat Labs, Botcheck.me, which tracks political propaganda bots, found that all of the top two-word phrase used on Twitter in the day after the shooting, excluding President Trump’s name, had to do with the attack, according to Wired.
Botcheck.me does not only track bots linked to Russian influence campaigns, and Ash Bhat, one of the project’s founders, told Wired that he would not speculate who is operating the accounts that his website tracks.
According to Wired, some bot operators create hashtags and push them until they are picked up by human users. Other bots seize on hashtags already in use to try to hijack the conversation.
The findings came a day after a shooter opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, killing 17 people.
The trending topics and hashtags from Russian-linked accounts also come more than a year after the U.S. intelligence community released an assessment detailing Russian efforts to disrupt and influence the 2016 presidential election.
The Hill cites a story that has been published by Wired which has quickly been picked up and promoted throughout the establishment echo chamber. The really sly part is that in addition to the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the story also relies on information from the firm RoBhat Labs which appears to be an operation run out of the apartment of two students at the University of California-Berkeley one of whom is on record of possessing animosity towards President Trump.
— UC Berkeley (@UCBerkeley) November 5, 2017
According to an October 2017 story from the Berkeley News “Fed up, two UC Berkeley students launch tool to spot Twitter bots”:
Two UC Berkeley undergraduate computer science students are doing what they say Twitter won’t: sorting out and tagging the angry propaganda bots designed to undermine, destabilize and inflame American political discourse.
This week, the two 20-year-olds, Ash Bhat and Rohan Phadte, launched a Google Chrome browser extension that puts a button onto every Twitter profile and tweet. With a click on the Botcheck.me button, users can see if the account is run by a person or automated program, based on the pair’s own machine-learning model.
Bhat told a reporter for Wired magazine, which profiled the pair, that “by making data available for other fellow Americans” their project is “pushing back” against Russian interference in the election.
“The very existence of their project raises an important question: If two volunteer data science students who are barely out of their teens can figure out how to hang out Twitter’s bad-actor bots, why doesn’t Twitter do the same?,” writer Lauren Smiley asked in Wired.
The duo, who run RoBhat Labs out of their Berkeley apartment, said they were drawn to the project after President Donald Trump threatened to defund UC Berkeley in a tweet earlier this year. “It’s very hard not to want to act in this new age,” Bhat told Wired. “We’re just like, what the f—? First off, people come and destroy our school and then the president of the United States is going to pull funding from our university?”
The Wired piece has received the ringing endorsement of former Obama UN Secretary Samantha Power the wife of Cass Sunstein as well as one of those who is under investigation by the House Intel Committee in the unmasking of Trump campaign team members and leaking of names to the media.
The attempts to sow discord never stop. But this is a particularly sobering reminder that Russia will continue to use any and every opportunity to turn Americans against each other https://t.co/J0DADgXhU9
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) February 16, 2018
One of the only critical voices belongs to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald who I admittedly have mixed feeling about simply because he is flaming liberal but he also manages to put out some quality work on the Deep State, mass surveillance and now this fiendish move to eliminate dissent and propagandize the public.
Yesterday I pointed out the astounding, overnight propaganda success of "Hamilton68," the secretive group created last year by Bill Kristol, Marco Rubio's guru, CIA officials & Dem hawks that the US media, almost daily, uncritically uses to shape headlines. Today's NYT front page pic.twitter.com/b3uJqMtLss
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 20, 2018
In 12 years of closely watching the US media, I don't think I've ever seen a propaganda effort succeed as quickly and spectacularly – and be as uncritically venerated by journalists as Gospel – as Bill Kristol, Mike Chertoff, & Mike Morell's "Hamilton68." It's impressive & scary.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 20, 2018
Greenwald is correct – this is a mass psyops campaign that has to succeed in order for the Deep State to eliminate all opposition.
Bill Kristol: Neocon propagandist, co-founder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and a man who worked desperately to field an anti-Trump spoiler candidate who would have swung the election to Hillary.
Michael Chertoff: Former Bush administration Director of Homeland Security.
Jake Sullivan: Former national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the senior policy advisor on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Michael Morrell: Former Obama administration official who was the acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2011 and again from 2012 to 2013. Morrell also wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in 2016 endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.
David Kramer: Was senior director for The McCain Institute for International Leadership AND was the man hand-picked by Senator John McCain to take delivery of the Fusion GPS-Christopher Steele dossier.
Michael McFaul: Former Obama administration ambassador to Russia as well as a virulent critic of both the country and President Vladimir Putin. A warmonger’s warmonger.
Mike Rogers: Former Republican congressman and House Intelligence Committee chairman notable for his defense of NSA mass surveillance programs.
For those with the time to read them, the following are recommended by this humble author because the writer lays out exactly what is transpiring.
"The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness" – C.J. Hopkins https://t.co/ZXhn5EUKPG
— The Unz Review (@UnzReview) February 17, 2018
Written by CJ Hopkins, “The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness”:
From Which I excerpt:
Yes, that’s right, folks, the Rooskies are back, only this time without the Communism. No, this time, their diabolical goal is the destruction of “democracy” itself! Why, exactly, the Rooskies want to destroy democracy is not entirely clear, especially as it would collapse their economy, not to mention precipitate a nuclear war that would wipe out most forms of life on the planet. But, you know, they’re inscrutable, those Rooskies.
According to experts in the corporate media, and our corporate-sponsored representatives in government (and, it goes without saying, the “intelligence community”), the primary weapon the Rooskies are using to destroy democracy, and life on Earth, is this sowing of “divisiveness” and “discord,” and “distrust” of our government and corporate elites, who love us as they love their own children, and who would never try to manipulate us, or treat us like interchangeable commodities, or bankrupt us with their Ponzi schemes, or debt-enslave our families for profit, or any other horrible things like that.
This is the type of mindless hogwash Americans are being pressured to swallow, and in fact are swallowing, millions of them. But then, this is how propaganda works. It doesn’t have to make any sense. In fact, it’s usually more effective if it doesn’t. In profoundly authoritarian cultures like the contemporary USA, people tend to believe the authorities, particularly when they’re all repeating the same simple message over and over. People want to believe the authorities. They want to because they’ve been conditioned to want to from the time they were children by their parents, teachers, political leaders, the corporate media, television, Hollywood, cultural icons, and more or less every other ideological organ of “normal society.”
— MAGA News Report (@MagaNewsReport) February 20, 2018
And the first installment by the same author “The War on Dissent” from which I also excerpt:
Just when you thought the corporatocracy couldn’t possibly get more creepily Orwellian, the Twitter Corporation starts sending out emails advising that they “have reason to believe” we have “followed, retweeted,” or “liked the content of” an account “connected to a propaganda effort by a Russia government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency.” While it’s not as dramatic as the Thought Police watching you on your telescreen, or posters reminding you “Big Brother Is Watching,” the effect is more or less the same.
And if that’s not creepily Orwellian enough for you, Facebook has established a Ministry of Counterspeech, manned by “a dedicated counterterrorism team” of “former intelligence and law-enforcement officials,” to “disrupt ideologies underlying extremism” (see Chris Hedges’ recent essay for details). The Google Corporation is systematically disappearing, deranking, and maliciously misrepresenting non-corporate news and opinion sources, and the “thought criminals” who contribute to them. Meanwhile, the corporate media continues to pump out Russia paranoia propaganda like this Maddow segment on MSNBC about “the remarkable number of Russian financiers who’ll be rubbing elbows with the Trump team in Davos.”
These are just the latest salvos in the corporate establishment’s War on Dissent, an expanded version of the War on Terror, which they’ve been relentlessly waging for over a year now. As you may have noticed, the ruling classes have been using virtually every propaganda organ at their disposal to whip up mass hysteria over a host of extremely dubious threats to “the future of democracy” and “democratic values,” Russia being foremost among them, followed closely by white supremacy, then a laundry list of other “threats,” from Julian Assange to Bernie Bros to other, lesser “sowers of division.”
This propaganda campaign is part and parcel of the roll-out of a new “official narrative.” If it wasn’t so completely depressing, I would say it is awe-inspiring to watch. This full-spectrum type of mass indoctrination, or “reality adjustment,” doesn’t happen that often. It used to only happen on the national level, typically during times of war, when the ruling classes of nation states needed to temporarily unite their populaces and demonize their enemy. It is happening now on a global level, for the second time in the 21st Century.
This time they are playing for keeps and the school shooting along with the Mueller indictments of the Russian troll farm are the perfect accelerant for a new American fascism that will make communism look like kindergarten.