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Why Entertainment Network Fox “News” Is Literally And Legally Fake.

Fox News is nothing more than lies and slander and conservative propaganda.

The entity known as the far-right conservative entertainment show Fox News Network has become a big problem for America. Under the reign of Donald Trump, which never would have been possible without them, a new Dark Ages era of falsehood and deception has begun. Their talking heads have become a sort of private-sector State TV, and by the day they become more brazen.

They are one of the main reasons why the World Freedom Index no longer rates America as a full democracy and haven’t in two years- since Trump took over. It is why last year’s Blue Wave was so globally critical.

Something has to stop them eventually, and the American people still can if they decide to rise up righteous. We’ve got to raise awareness about Fox “News”.  They are not a real news station legally as well as in fact. They are not subject to airwave regulation by the FCC because they are just a cable show.

They can lie whenever they want without any penalty. And they do!

Judging from current events, it’s hard to pick a winner as to which recent event inspired us to write this story now; any other day would have done as well. The now-infamous Pelosi hit video on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” seems a reasonable place to begin.

Facebook, which has resolved on being dishonest and Russian infested itself, refused to take it down, which got a lot of justified heat slung at them, but they weren’t the real culprits this time. Liar Fox hosts were, but that didn’t raise many eyebrows. The whole world has known for years they’re just right-wing talking heads. Most of us have long since gotten used to being lied to by Fox, and we know on whose behalf.

The Republican Party, and the monopoly capitalists worldwide who are footing the bill for them.

The Republican Party, or more accurately its extremist wing known as the Tea Party and Fox “News” have a lot in common. They have the same ostensible values, but more importantly, they share the same financiers. The New York Times did a piece in 2010 titled “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party.”

Libertarian Rupert Murdoch, the creator of Fox “News”, is a billionaire and was numbered in stone among their ranks before he retired. His fellow libertarians and allies Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries were the other chief culprits, unsurprisingly. Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries’ vast fossil fuel business.

Which “news network” has been pushing that line the loudest? We don’t even have to tell you.

As we have discussed many times on this blog, “libertarian” is the new word for monopoly capitalist, or fascist. Whenever you think of Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, that’s who we’re talking about. A total media monopoly has been a Koch agenda item for years. Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard, of all people, plays a strange role in their world. The arch-villains of Occupy Wall St, a dark money private political empire designed to promote far-right causes.

The Murdoch family is one of the biggest players. The amount of money they have formally given to the Republican Party is vast. Who knows what they’ve been up to since Citizens United? One can only speculate, and look at what we know for sure in the meantime.

Kathleen Ronayne at OpenSecrets.org put together the following statistics, leaving no doubt who Fox and the Republicans are getting their bread buttered by.

Since the 1990 election cycle, Murdoch has contributed about $750,000 to federal candidates and political committees, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Of that sum, 80 percent — or $600,200 — has benefited Republican candidates and committees, including a $250,000 contribution to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1990s, when the committee could still accept unlimited “soft money” donations.

These days it’s the son of Rupert, Lachlan Murdoch, who has run the place since 2017, and he is no better than his father.

When he took over, he promptly sold nearly every anti-Trump asset they had to Disney, including the Simpsons, their one contribution to humanity. King of the Hill too, I suppose, but on the other hand, we lost Beavis and Butthead out of the deal.

Speaking as a private citizen, I don’t think it was worth it. Every day, like boll weevils, they eat away at the strands of what Americans believe is going on.

Earlier today, when Robert Mueller made his first public statement regarding the report that bears his name regarding the Russian interference in our election, they swung into action right away. Headlines bearing such trivial names as “Laura Ingraham says Mueller ‘attempting to resuscitate the corpse’ of his report'” and “Mueller statement made for ‘bad day’ for Pelosi, 2020 Dems, Trump campaign manager says” proliferated all over the Internet within an afternoon.

The people claiming that the contents of the Mueller Report are anything but a disaster of the highest scale for America are part of the problem, and as usual, Fox hosts are leading the charge. The wrigglings of Sean Hannity were as loathsome as those of Glenn Greenwald (almost; at least the former will admit what team he’s on). We’re not going to get into that in this article, however. We’re going to stick with Fox and hope that Mr. Mueller won’t mind too much our lack of focus in his work today.

Fox “News”, for never again will we write the very words without using quotation marks, a practice I am hoping will catch on, is not really a news station at all. It’s part of 21st Century Fox, a cable entertainment network, and this is of the utmost importance because it explains why they can lie to us this way so systematically.

MediaBiasFactCheck provides the background.

Founded in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Channel, also known as Fox News, (FNC) is an American basic cable and satellite news television channel that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Catch that? Entertainment! This will set the standard for our entire evaluation of this clumsy version of State TV we derisively call “Faux News”. Cable networks are not real news networks, at least not in the sense that the Big Three stations (NBC, ABC, CBS) are, because they do not go out over the airwaves. They are therefore not subject to Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, airwave regulation.

The FCC controls the airwaves. That’s their task. It’s their job. Their only job! And who among us has not asked before, with all the constant misinformation, the innumerable floods of lawsuits over wrong stories, the countless times they have been sued, why doesn’t the FCC do something?
Well, actually, for the same reason Robert Mueller didn’t charge Trump with a crime! They don’t have the legal right! The FCC has no jurisdiction over cable. Neither does CNN, of course, but they adhere to journalistic standards more than three-fourths of the time. Fox can’t even make halfway.
They only tell the truth on the air 42% of the time.
They’ve been using it as State TV, like in Russia, you know; the dictator’s mouthpiece, his most accessible way to lie directly to the people. But actually, it’s just like him, sham to the core and nowhere near the inner circle. We should be telling people this every time it comes up. Fox is NOT a news network because it doesn’t get to use the airwaves. It’s got to crawl through the ground like slithering worms in cables.

Cable television is far less regulated and held to standards far less rigorous than a real television station. They alone are the supreme arbiters of what they can say or not say during their slots of television, and cannot get in trouble for lying, which they do constantly. They are in no way the same as a Big Three airwave station.

To get our neighbors to see how worthless Fox really is, we need one simple equation and to raise awareness about it.

News is “fake news” if it has no journalistic standards, be they chosen or enforced by airwave laws and the FCC.

Those standards are defined by the journalistic tradition, and by national airwave laws.
Fox does not go out over airwaves, nor do they value journalistic standards.
Therefore, Fox = fake news.

Fox will lose all its power to mislead our people with lies if we raise enough awareness about this fact, which is, of course, the goal of this article. Fox But we’ll get back to that. In the meantime, let’s look at how much faith 21st Century Fox, of which Fox “News” Network is just a part, has in the truthfulness of the talking heads it’s hired.

The blockquote underneath is a waiver you’ll be forced to sign if you’d like to buy time on a Fox “News” slot, as provided by the Fox “News” Network LLC Terms of Use Agreement. 

Company makes no representation or warranty whatsoever regarding the completeness, accuracy, currency or adequacy of any information, facts, views, opinions, statements or recommendations contained on the Company Services and/or the Content.

Unbelievable!

A little background about the channel itself seems in order. Fox “News” was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who launched it on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. It has gained in power and reach since that time tremendously, and its brazenness has grown beside it twice as fast, a mutated golem made of mis- and dis- information.

The word “disinformation” comes from the Russian “dezinformatsiya”, meaning ” false information given to deliberately deceive”, and so we mostly think of it as something Russian. Certainly, to say the least, disinformation strategies of the type Russia used to interfere in our 2016 presidential election cycle have become a problem in today’s world. But the Russians are hardly the true masters.

Here in the United States of America, we also know a thing or two about getting lied to by our president. We know too that his primary way of doing it has become his own personal, privatized version of State TV- Fox “News”.

What Fox has done over the years, or even just during the election, dwarfs what the Russians did to the point of demonstrating their accomplishment as puny. The Kremlin got a few ads through to people on Facebook and held a few rallies; definitely creepy, but absolutely nothing compared to what domestic mouthpieces are capable of. Russia was able to goad an enormous bull, not become one.

Compared to what Fox is capable of, they’re nothing. Small-time pikers, and no mistake. You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Consider rather the words of Ralph Peters, a former Fox News strategic analyst and a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who left the network last year in March, disgusted with its sycophantic coverage of Trump and the vicious rhetoric of its talking prime time heads.

Peters said specifically that he could not “in good conscience” remain with an organization that, he argued, “is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.”

He went on letting them have it, too.

“In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration,” Colonel Peters wrote in his message, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.

As a people, we’ve gotten so used to being lied to by Fox that even the most acutely aware of the problem tends to have to shrug their shoulders at this point. But 99% of the slander thrown at Hillary Clinton in 2016 came from that direction. Varying aspects of what we know as the conservative media machine cooked it up over a quarter of a century, which illustrates and highlights the crux of the problem. Here in the land of the free, one of the most double-edged swords there is free speech.

Free speech is why I can write these words without having to fear death or the concentration camp. But it is also why we must tolerate Fox “News”, the Republican mouthpiece, lacking in all credulity- and yet, something I would still fight for their right to do just as hard as I would my own. In a democratic society such as ours, we have no choice but to grin and bear it. . Nothing true or useful comes to the people by way of it. It’s actually the polar opposite of news, which is daily information given by professionals, intending to inform the people about current events. Fox’s intent is to waylay and confuse.

What we, as a nation, have gotten used to accepting as a valid source is really one of the most wicked and egregious disinformation campaigns to take place in all of human history! It has not been by any foreign power that this disinformation has been unleashed on our people, but on our very own television sets, playing twenty-four hours a day nationwide. People are used to it, so they accept it as credible.

Nothing could be more inaccurate.

Fox "News" is NOT a news channel. It's an entertainment channel, like everything else on cable. Cable news is never news at all.
Fox “News” is NOT a news channel. It’s an entertainment channel, like everything else on cable. Cable news is never news at all.

When world leaders, be they figure of states or high-profile figures from civil society, deliberately employ untruth against their own people, they are without a doubt using a method of repression, and a very costly one at that. In the Donald Trump era, weaponized lying has become easier and more common than ever before. Fox News has become his primary mouthpiece.

This is a disaster for America because such a state of affairs cannot help the inflicting of large-scale corrosion of democracy, regardless of the state it’s taking place in. If a country values its democratic system, its citizens will have to find ways to ward off this threat from time to time.

Otherwise, it will not survive.

I can hear someone asking, off in a parallel universe perhaps, what’s the harm in it? Let them have their pleasant delusions if it helps to keep them at work. Is this really something we have to fear will badly wound America?

That is why James Madison wrote the Federalist Paper 10th.

A stupid and incompetent citizenry is something no nation will long survive, so you better believe it will badly wound America. It already has. Fox News disinformation ends breaking up families, making people permanently angry, and seeing to it they’re uneducated on as many subjects as possible.

Rolling Stone Magazine provides the following sad anecdote to illustrate the tendency’s nature.

Jen Senko believes that her father was brainwashed. As Senko, a New York filmmaker, tells it, her father was a “nonpolitical Democrat.” But then he transferred to a new job that required a long commute and began listening to conservative radio host Bob Grant during the drive. Eventually, he was holing himself up for three hours every day in the family kitchen, mainlining Rush Limbaugh and, during commercials, Fox News.

“It reminded me of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Senko says. “He used to love talking to different people to try to learn their language, but then he became angry about illegal immigrants coming to the country, that they were taking jobs from Americans, and that English was becoming the secondary language.”

Studies have proven an actual physical effect of this by studying the brains of Fox News viewers. Author Daniel Goleman has coined the term “amygdala hijacking” to describe what inflammatory rhetoric and imagery are designed to do: trigger the emotional brain before the logical brain has a chance to stop it. The anger centers of their brains are literally more physically developed than those of healthy people. It’s like benchpresses for a bad temper.

In the year 2000, hosts like Hannity and the now-disgraced and silent Bill O’ Reilly made themselves the champions of the second Bush regime. This made them some friends. They learned a big lesson from it, too, one they’ve been revving up the engine off of ever since.

Misleading your viewers and using base anger to fight with is a quick and easy way to gain support from embittered people-whose numbers grow larger with every war and crisis. Divide and conquer is the oldest trick in the book used by the rich by preying on their fellows, in or out of America.

After 9/11 took place, while all the world was mourning and gearing up for war, Fox was making bigger and bigger bank as a result of their conservative alliance. They experienced a 440% increase in viewers, blowing the doors off comparable news organizations like CNN who don’t use wild speculations and click-bait headlines.

They got so big so fast, in fact, that when now-disgraced former CEO Roger Ailes came right out and said they are not a news organization in 2007, nobody much really heard him. They were too busy listening to Bill O’ Reilly and Sean Hannity instead. Hannity is a particular problem these days, as Trump’s good buddy, people give a lot of undue credibility to the lies told by him- a cable network entertainer, not a journalist.

Why are Big Three news networks like CBS or NBC or CNN so constrained by the truth while Fox is not? Surely the mighty Federal Communications Commission should be able to call Fox News to command, so why doesn’t it?

Actually, though, the FCC has no power over Fox or CNN, because both are cable shows and ultimately designed for entertainment! This is key. The difference between Fox and CNN is ideological. One chooses willingly to use journalistic standards. The other does not. Neither one is forced to! Fox is not legally obliged to tell the truth on the air.

Fox isn’t subject to FCC airwave regulation because it isn’t on the airwaves! Clever, right? Now they can spout all the hideousness they want and still dare to label it the truth. CNN is truthful by choice, but people think it’s because they have to be. That is not true, and it is almost certainly why the FCC doesn’t chop Hannity’s head off.

They nearly destroyed Howard Stern just for being annoying.

Make sure to catch that last part. Fox, the so-called “News” Network is in no way legally obligated to tell the truth about anything! They are a feature offered by the entertainment company 21st Century Fox. Entertainment is allowed to lie! It’s all just part of the show.

Making them tell the truth would spoil the effect, and our system doesn’t force them to. Not any more than USA’s client the World Wrestling Entertainment has to come right out and say pro wrestling is fake. People know it in their hearts, but they want to believe in the wrestlers, so they do. They like a good show. It’s exactly the same with Fox.

Although it should have been, it is not true that Fox has been made to start using a disclaimer saying “For Entertainment Purposes Only”. That was an April Fool’s joke in 2017 circulated by reporters, designed to make readers laugh- and to make them think. But it’s definitely true that entertainment is how they think of themselves. Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that he does not consider the other basic cable news channels — CNN and MSNBC — to be Fox’s competitors.

“We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,” he said.

Discussion about American political issues today-meaning every single facet of life in southern North America- means a debate, unless you’re in a room where everyone agrees with you. Those debates will see a Fox-trained cadre putting forth the opinions of trolls like Hannity as a valid counterpoint to anything, even proven scientific facts. People take him seriously and believe the things he says.

Recently he said the immigration deal we nearly came to with Trump a “Garbage Compromise”. But actually, Hannity himself is an absolute, complete, and total trash can. He didn’t even go to school for this, he was working as a housing contractor when he randomly volunteered for radio and offered himself out as a mouthpiece for rightist nonsense.

If you’re willing to lie without repentance, there’s always some monopoly capitalist hoping to bring down America with your help.

Hannity has paid off for them with some real whoppers over the years. The anti-Obama movement of birtherism, 2016 voter fraud, “deep state opposition” of a “Shadow Government” – a network of government officials that are working to hinder the Trump administration. Conspiracy theories about the Seth Rich murder, and so on, leading up to the biggest lie of all- that Debauched Donald was fit to run this country.

It’s all a big show, not truthful news, but then again it was not meant to be. As the Fox “News” Network’s own CEO Roger Ailes said, they’re really competing with football and pro wrestling. It’s all for ratings and money- money that comes from billionaire libertarians like the Koch Brothers and their founder Rupert Murdoch.

Hannity will say whatever the Murdochs want him to.

That’s a big problem when most of it is not true; a third at most of Hannity’s public statements were rated fully true by Politifact. A recent Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll revealed that most Americans get their political knowledge from Sunday morning political shows on television. These “do the most to help people learn about current events.” That would seem to confirm their opinion.

However, listen to the rest of the story.

“[S]ome outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

Likewise, a University of Maryland study done in 2003 showed that Fox News viewers are more likely than consumers of any other news source to believe demonstrably false statements.

Again, this is because Fox is not a news channel. It’s entertainment packaged as news to mislead and stultify the American people. Great misunderstanding and bitterness come from believing things that just aren’t true. Real consequences arise from surrendering our objectivity.

Fox viewers have been getting angrier and angrier for decades, their bitterness manufactured and exploited. And who do their Friends at Fox lead them into feeling bitter towards? Liberals, progressives, anyone who wants to help the people. Anyone who isn’t just like them.

A full 60% of Fox News viewers describe themselves as conservative according to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center. According to John Ray at Data for Progress, “Across a variety of political and cultural attitudes, Republicans who report getting their news from Fox are significantly to the right of Republicans who don’t.”

Studies galore have been done to measure these tendencies, which should be well-documented and understood. Every one of the organizations reaching these conclusions is similar to MediaFactChect, a neutral nonprofit organization that exists to classify and track partisan bias levels among political media entities. They do this according to a rated standard political spectrum, going as always from extreme-left to extreme-right.

A related group, PunditFact, measures their commentators’ honesty. These standards are both logical and apolitical, and can reasonably trusted as far as anything else in the written world can.

Fox News is given by MediaFactCheck a Bias Rating very near the extreme end of the pole as Strongly Right, for reasons that are really rather damning. We’ve included them in blockquote below.

These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.

  • Overall, we rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to wording and story selection that favors the right and Mixed factually based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared.

They also score badly by the standards of PunditFact, a second and related organization’s tool for measuring the percentage of truthful reporting done by political analysts on the stories they discuss and the terms they use to describe them. We decided to include the numerical figures below, as a stark quality comparison between the center and far-right journalists is to be found there.

Currently, at Fox and Fox News Channel, 58 percent of fact claims made by pundits and on-air personalities have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. NBC and MSNBC were not great either, but their work still represents a significant improvement versus Fox at 45%.

CNN scored best with only 22 percent of their fact claims not making it through the filters and most of those coming from guests rather than commentators, which is interesting because CNN also is a cable network. They chose to use journalistic standards of their own volition, not because they were forced to by any mean laws or regulations.

Conversely, Don Irvine over at Accuracy in Media showed what Fox thinks of truth as a value.

Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter that Fox News has become so big, the network is really competing with cable sports and entertainment networks like TNT, USA and ESPN, not the ratings-challenged CNN and MSNBC.

They laugh because it doesn’t get the ratings that come from anger and savage lying. It also doesn’t get big bucks from the likes of Charles and David Koch.
We have to keep hitting this point until it sinks in. Fox cannot be trusted, and we should immediately go on the attack whenever someone cites them as a source rather than arguing on the merits or flaws of their absurd claims. Fox is not a news network at all. It’s just an entertainment cable network, like TNT or USA. They do not have a record of journalistic integrity, and they do not have to have one. We must attack Fox credibility on these grounds.
On a cable network, or elsewhere, journalistic standards are a choice. Citizens have to know there is a big difference between the quality of the work of those who adhere to them and those who do not. Fox has made its choice long ago, and so we must make ours. We have to start hammering this home immediately. As fast as we can. Fox is LITERALLY-and legally- fake news. They have systematically and for decades mangled truth in the pursuit of power and money.
We are done listening.
All the filth and lies the Bernie supporters were slinging around in 2016 came through their pipeline.  They laid the groundwork in the minds of the American people that made them accept the Russian disinformation that convinced Bernie supporters to riot in the Philadelphia streets.
Most of all, they convinced the American people that Donald Trump, a known con man, racist, and bully, was worth entrusting the greatest responsibility in the world. They have put our entire American system at risk. The last pillar in the world holding democracy up
The nonsense the Russians were using was the same old anti-Clinton stuff Rush Limbaugh and his pals have been spouting. The record is clear and the facts are too.

In Trump’s words during the first 2016 presidential debates, somebody better call Sean Hannity.

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How Putin Felt The Bern- Detailing Russian Interference In The Sanders Campaign.

The name of Bernie Sanders did not appear on the ballot in a single state during the 2016 general election. But a large share of the blame for this disaster that is the current administration lies squarely on his shoulders.

The Bernie or Bust movement was a nightmare, the blatant racism and sexism shown by his campaign were a worse one. But in terms of national security, however, worst of all was the Russian support, particularly on social media, that kept his campaign alive long past the point of reason.

Using illegally acquired data from Wikileaks, emails that suggested little wrongdoing, the Russians successfully goaded Bernie, and his supporters showed his anger on the streets of Philadelphia, while inside the Democratic National Convention, Paul Simon played the first notes of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.

Bernie’s conduct, when questioned about this, has been defensive and rude, and this reaction has added to the number of raised questions that linger to this day about where the senator stands on the shadowy foreign figures who were once involved with his campaign.

The evidence is clear that Sanders became the Ralph Nader of 2016, peeling off just enough votes from the Democratic candidate to spoil the election. All the chaos he created on the left drained just as much support away from Hillary Clinton as it took for Donald Trump to win. By this point, the proof is huge and glaring that he, and to a less well-known and effective extent, Jill Stein, allowed themselves to be used as Putin’s other puppets.

Putin's Other Puppets.
Putin’s Other Puppets.

We had hoped he would be smart enough not to split the whole left by running again, but that is not going to be the case. So now that Bernie Sanders has formally declared his candidacy, a bad but not unexpected move, we’re coming across a lot of different questions regarding what manner of man he is.

Is he a socialist? Yes. He’s been calling himself a “Democratic Socialist” since the 1960’s. The word “Democratic” is not a qualifier; it is better off deleted. He means he’s a socialist, plain and simple.

Is he less than one hundred years old? We’re not sure, but he claims to be. Birth records support this claim, technically, but not by much.

Is he an escaped Walking Dead extra? No one can say for certain, either way.

All of these are good questions, and the disturbing answers to them raise serious concerns about his viability to compete in a general election. But the big questions are these. How much damage did Bernie Sanders do in 2016, and how bad were the Russians infested in his campaign apparatus?

The question of just how big of an effect did the Sanders campaign have on the final election can be gauged by looking at how bad he hurt her in the swing states where American elections are decided. Take a look at these numbers from 2016 Democratic primary exit polls taken from West Virginia- not a swing state, but dramatic and indicatory nonetheless.

Forty four percent is nearly half the Bernie supporters who voted in the West Virginian primary.
Forty-four percent! Nearly half the Bernie supporters who voted in the West Virginian primary planned to later vote for Trump. That speaks for itself.

In the three states that put Trump in the Oval Office, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a high number of voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary in those states crossed over and voted for Trump in the general election.

One in ten, to be exact. We’re talking thousands of people here. Registered Democrats who went so far as to actually vote for Trump.

Is it true that he and his campaign were involved in the Russian plot to interfere with our 2016 presidential election? The one that Trump says was fake news, but was actually so real it’s truly awful?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and we’re going to make the case for it thoroughly.

Let’s start by taking a look at the Russian motive, means, and modus operandi for giving Bernie Sanders a hand against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

Motive: Vladimir Putin wanted to cost Hillary Clinton the election, by any means necessary. The most effective, obvious, and accessible ways for him to do it was to give her opponents a hand.

One of these opponents was Donald Trump, the obvious recipient of most of Putin’s goodwill. Another, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, was physically present at the infamous December of 2015 dinner meeting with former National Security Adviser and Retired General Michael Flynn.  The third, and the focus of this article was Bernie Sanders, her primary opponent.

Far-right hardliner and former National Security Adviser Ret Gen. Michael Flynn dines with Russian President Vladimir Putin and far-left Green Party 2016 US Presidential election candidate Jill Stein. This dinner is a good look at what it looks like at the exact moment where the far left and the alt-right converge.
Far-right hardliner and former National Security Adviser Ret Gen. Michael Flynn dining with Russian President Vladimir Putin and far-left Green Party 2016 US Presidential election candidate Jill Stein. This dinner is a good look at what it looks like at the exact moment where the far left and the alt-right converge.

Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton have laid out the reasons for this in detail. Vladimir Putin, of course, is the multibillionaire dictator of Russia who paid for all this to take place.

Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the validity of Russia’s parliamentary elections in December of 2011. This made Putin very unhappy. He had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama.

Politico’s Michael Crowley put the case together days after the riot-causing WikiLeaks email dumps in July 2016.

“Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton say that Putin was personally stung by Clinton’s December 2011 condemnation of Russia’s parliamentary elections, and had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama. They say Putin and his advisers are also keenly aware that, even as she executed Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia, Clinton took a harder line toward Moscow than others in the administration. And they say Putin sees Clinton as a forceful proponent of “regime change” policies that the Russian leader considers a grave threat to his own survival.”

“He was very upset [with Clinton] and continued to be for the rest of the time that I was in government,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the top Russia official in Obama’s national security council from 2009 to December 2011 and then was U.S. ambassador to Moscow until early 2014. “One could speculate that this is his moment for payback.”

He ended up getting it, but not without a lot of domestic help. It came from the far left, and it came from the alt-right, suggesting strongly what we strongly believe: The alt-right and the far left are one.

Trump's SOTU Cheered for Anti-Socialist Theme he stole from us.
Trump and Bernie- Two sides of the same coin.

Means: Vladimir Putin may well be the richest man on Earth, by some estimates having more money than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos combined. He more then had the means to pull off a job like this.

Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believes the Russian president is “the richest man in the world” with a net worth of $200 billion.

A spokesperson for the publication told Town and Country Magazine that was because they haven’t been able to figure it out. “While Forbes has been able to track money tied to Putin’s allies, we have not been able to come up with a defensible, provable estimate of his net worth.”

Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation Putin considers to be his,” exiled Russian banker Sergei Pugachev told the Guardian (Pugachev once earned the nickname “Putin’s banker.”) He said that “any attempt to calculate [Putin’s net worth] won’t succeed. He’s the richest person in the world until he leaves power.”

For a guy like this, throwing a few tens or even hundreds of millions into manipulating the elections of other countries to make them more amenable to Russian interests is nothing. It would almost be strange if he didn’t do it.

Putin has paid for “destability” campaigns worldwide. The far right is not alone among radicals in getting plenty of Russian assistance. The far left, which has shown just as strong a resurgence as its counterpart since the Great Recession happened, is also getting more than its fair share. Russia, it seems, is never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.

Thank You For Not Lying!
Thank You For Not Lying!

Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum that are trying to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.

Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins, such as Bernie Sanders, or Jill Stein and the Green Party.

In America, we are experiencing many problems with so-called progressives who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders (it didn’t). These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice.

By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, for the sake of stoking a petty grudge, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive.

Angry socialist gathers his forces for battle on his own Party.
Angry socialist gathers his forces for battle on his own Party.

They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and full of boredom regarding the sorts of dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.

The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State.  Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many anti-capitalists.

Democratic Socialists, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have clearly labeled themselves as anti-capitalist. This would have made them extremely valuable to Soviet propagandists working from inside the KGB. It still does.

Modus Operandi: Hiring hackers to spread dirt and lies around to influence elections is part of the Russian toolkit. The 2016 plan was not a new strategy, but rather a direct descendant of the original Cheka Disinformation Office, founded by “Iron” Felix Dzherzhinsky in 1923. Working both ends of the radical spectrum, left and right, to destabilize the interior of an enemy country. That is what they do.

Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has a researcher named Ben Buchanan working for them, also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The focus of his research lies in examining how nations use their capabilities for attack and espionage in cyberspace against one another and examining the strategies that drive this usage. His words in their unaltered form may help to shed some light.

“There is a demonstrated pattern of Russian cyber operations stretching back several decades. One major early case, dating from the late 1990s, is commonly referred to as Moonlight Maze. In that case, Russian hackers penetrated a wide range of American networks for espionage purposes. Since then, Russian cyber operations have continued to expand greatly, hacking into key military, political, and economic institutions.”

“These operations show adeptness in several ways. Perhaps most significant is that they demonstrate how the Russians have developed new digital methods to accomplish old tasks. A series of espionage cases show the Russian aptitude for gathering information using computer hacking. The 2007 attack on Estonia and 2008 attack on Georgia are an exhibit of how Russia uses cyber operations against democratic states. Though we have somewhat less information about it, the 2015 blackout in Ukraine—the first ever publicly known case of a power outage caused by cyber-attack—shows the potency of cyber-attacks that appear to be Russian in origin. And the 2016 election interference demonstrates that the Russians have married their longstanding history of influence operations with their more recently developed capacity for hacking.” -With thanks to the Wilson Center.

The particulars of how these political digital influence campaigns worked out in practice in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary will be only too memorial to any Democratic activist who was around in 2016. We’ve included an anecdote that sums up what they were trying for precisely.

Around September 14 in 2016, for example, one “account specialist” of a Russian-controlled Facebook group called “Secured Borders” was reprimanded for having a “low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton.”

The specialist was also told, “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton.”

Later on, Russian operatives used accounts they controlled — including an account called “Woke Blacks” and “Blacktivist” — to urge Americans to vote for third-party candidates or not to vote at all. “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” one such message read. “Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”

Not for Russia, anyway.

No, indeed, Donald Trump was not the only candidate the Russians tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign. One other name was mentioned specifically. Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT. The Mueller indictments of a year ago offer solid confirmation of what we have been saying all along. The specific mention of Trump and Sanders shows that the Russian government decided early on to oppose Clinton.

A 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation makes it clear. Russian nationals and businesses definitely worked to boost the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton, even as they did the same thing to Trump’s Republican opponents on the right.

The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued a year ago in February.

A personal anecdote, that I’ll admit to having shared before. The editor of Millennial Democrats was online alongside legions of others, out there for HRC from 2015 onward, every day, for many hours. Anyone who was there back then can tell you. It can be stated categorically that there was a tangible, palpable disinformation campaign going on against Hillary Clinton. It worked, too. The Bernie Bots truly hated us, and their viciousness knew no bounds at all.

This is what we're fighting.
This is who they are.

It still doesn’t.

In my experience, this blog and its affiliate Millennial Democrats Facebook Pages and Millennial Democrats Twitter account, which is a fifty state plus nationwide apparatus, has been attacked by Trump trolls maybe one out of ten in the ratio of how often it has been attacked by Bernie trolls. This has little to do with what side of the country we are talking about. It goes right across the board.

I’ve written in a 3 to 1 ratio of pieces targeting the right rather than the far left, although it is my deeply-held conviction and the conclusion pointed to by evidence that they are the same entity. But even when the week of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is taken into account this remains true. Any moderate Democratic activist online will tell you the same.

You would go into groups and talk to people, who were steadfast in their refusal to listen far beyond the bounds of reason or even fanaticism. These guys were professionals.

It was like they were getting paid per response. They all seemed to be equipped with the same list of hit points about Hillary Clinton. This became clear after a while because the very same slanders would be laid out every time, in sequential order. In many cases the wording was actually identical, although most took the time to switch about at least a thing or two. And they were just as prevalent on the left as on the right.

It got especially bad during the last month of the Democratic primary, which was a very horrible time filled with chaos and division.

During this time, we were savagely attacked. Anything we posted would be Reported as Spam/Abuse by political adversaries from both the alt-right and radical left. We were barraged with nasty messages and threats; as a matter of fact, we continue to get them. They just keep rolling in, day after day, month piled on top of month. It’s called gaslighting; they want to wear you down so you give up.

One particularly rabid group of Bernie Sanders supporters told one of our contributors that they hoped she was gang-raped.

The list is long, sick, and sordid. Drop by drop, it has convinced us to take an unequivocal stance of #NeverBernie– and stick to it.

Therefore, when we found out today that according to the indictment, Russia’s Internet Research Agency had a “strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system”,including the election, it was far from a surprise to us.
During the 2016 electoral cycle itself, nobody wanted to listen. Most Bernie supporters still will not listen; many today will actually go so far as to claim that Russia is participating in the campaign against Bernie.
This is the equivalent of a mugger calling for help as he snatches an old lady’s purse.
At any rate, back then, they could still lean smugly back and say, Show me the proof. Today, however, the evidence is laid flat out in any number of places, such as Robert Mueller’s February 2018 indictment of thirteen Russian nationals, who had posted “derogatory information about a number of candidates”.
They bought ads and communicated with people tied to the Trump campaign and others in order to coordinate political activities. They even went so far as to coordinate their activities on our soil.
The indictment also mentions a February 2016 memo to Internet Research Agency staff. The instructions given were to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”
“Looks like we finally know for sure why Bernie would not vote to sanction Russia,” I wrote at the time, still in a state of shock at just how surreal it was for Bernie to reinforce all this by being one of two senators who refused to pass the bill for new sanctions in 2017.
He just called in sick for the vote to lift sanctions on close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company recently. And this from a guy who very rarely misses work. Of the new crop of presidential candidates, only Elizabeth Warren has missed fewer votes than Bernie.
Bernie rarely misses work. But he did manage to be absent when it came time to vote to sanction Oleg Deripaska's aluminum company. Deripaska is a close friend and personal ally of Putin. He was also the owner of Paul Manafort's debt.
Bernie rarely misses work. But he did manage to be absent when it came time to vote to sanction Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company. Deripaska is a close friend and personal ally of Putin. He was also the owner of Paul Manafort’s debt.

Unbelievably, he claimed he couldn’t show up for the Deripaska vote because he was meeting with the women who accused his campaign of sexual misconduct. Even the most rabid and dishonest and insane penner of political hit pieces could not make this stuff up. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Bernie’s people have never wanted him to touch “the Russia thing”, and most even to this day will make claims about how “it’s not all about Russia” and we need to “Talk about the issues”. They want to laugh it off, even while when it comes time to talk about what Trump was doing. This is hypocritical. When Trump does it, it’s a big threat. But when Bernie does it, it’s as though it is just a little fun.
This gives you a look at how it was back then. It’s a Russian Twitter account called “Missouri News” (@MissouriNewsUS), which sent out pictures of Sanders and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the line “Bernie Sanders is basically a New Deal Democrat, #feeltheBern.”
Missouri News, a Russian troll account that Twitter has since deleted (they've been pretty cool about cleaning up their act, unlike Facebook or even worse You Tube) is shown here giving the Sanders campaign a hand.
Missouri News, a Russian troll account that Twitter has since deleted (they’ve been pretty cool about cleaning up their act, unlike Facebook or even worse YouTube) is shown here giving the Sanders campaign a hand.
Our entire intelligence community unanimously agrees that they’re targeting us. We know that they’ve been able to get malware into our power grids. We know also that they’re considered a complete menace in Europe, where they have demonstrated their ability to turn off the lights on huge swathes of Ukraine and take Estonia offline completely. But Bernie will not talk about it, so they simply will not look at it.
They will physically squirm in real life conversations. They remind me of Fox News devotees.
“A guy who was on my staff … checked it out and he went to the Clinton campaign, and he said, ‘You know what? I think these guys are Russians,’” Sanders said.
A former Clinton campaign staffer told Politico it was nonsense that Sanders’ campaign had reached out to Clinton’s about potential Russian interference. “No one from the Sanders campaign ever contacted us about this” — not in September, and not in “April and May.”
They never said or did a thing of that nature. Nothing of the sort ever happened. Not once. Not even after Bernie had offered his weak, half-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Guy on your staff, eh, Bernie? And just to think. All of this is before we’ve even mentioned Tad Devine.
Devine was Bernie’s chief campaign strategist, the most senior of advisers to the 2016 Sanders campaign. He was also the good friend and colleague of decades of Paul Manafort, who at the same time was running the Trump campaign. Devine was the first witness called at Manafort’s trial. Here is a picture of Tad Devine with Paul Manafort and the man suspected to be his contact within Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik, himself wanted by Mueller’s team for questioning and likely more.
Tad Devine and Paul Manafort together with Konstantin Kilimnik, the shadowy Ukrainian figure wanted for questioning by the special counsel Robert Mueller.
Tad Devine and Paul Manafort together with Konstantin Kilimnik, the shadowy Ukrainian figure wanted for questioning by the special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank did a piece at the time, titled “The Deep Cynicism of Bernie Sanders’ Chief Strategist“. It pointed out how during his run as chief strategist for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Devine was always the first to scream and howl about the corrupting influence of money in politics. He said “our economy is rigged,” that “special interests” buy politicians, that “all of the new wealth is going to the top of America,” that there is a “corrupt system of campaign finance” of which Hillary Clinton offered an “egregious” example.

Sanders, by contrast, “supported the little guy.”

But as we know by now, Devine had worked repeatedly to secure the election of one of the world’s most corrupt political figures and then his allies, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, a crooked pro-Putin autocrat.

Thanks to Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, who earlier this weekend saw a heavily redacted- to the tune of eight hundred pages- sentencing memo presented to the court on his behalf, the former Trump campaign chairman and business associate of Devine, we now have the glimpse of Devine’s possible role in organizing Russian help for Bernie.

Though he is hardly the first to grab cash from foreign leaders, the ease Devine had in making the switch from cold-blooded profiteer strategist to social reformer firebrand strategist seems reptilian to us in the very extreme. It’s exactly that type of bold callousness that the Russians would look for in an asset.

Tad Devine is a figure of great interest in the Russiagate investigation, in our opinion. We’ve been expecting the special counsel assigned by the Justice Department to look into Russian meddling in our 2016 election cycle, Robert Mueller, to get around to him sooner or later.

Put it this way: If Manafort is the key to understanding exactly what the Russians were doing for Trump, and Kilimnik is the key to understanding what Manafort did for the Russians, then Devine, their old friend, is the key to what the Russians were doing for Bernie. He is by far the most likely connection between the Russians and the Sanders campaign. It is our view that this connection has not been explored anywhere near thoroughly enough, and we encourage our readers to write in with what they know. We would make responsible use of it.

Radio Free Europe provides some light on the situation by providing a March 31, 2014 email from Tad Devine to Rick Gates, who in 2016 was the chief aide to Manafort, and later became a star witness against him.

There we find that Devine was the one to write Yanukovych’s 2010 victory speech. That detail was found attached to his email to Gates, in the form of a draft agreement for Manafort’s firm to work on another Ukrainian’s campaign.

That all these people know each other so well cannot be a coincidence. No wonder Trump the other day said “I like Bernie”, all atwinkle in his smiling eyes.

Although it has been very hard for Sanders followers to face this, it is our opinion that Devine too was working with the Russians and that Sanders most likely knew he was getting help from Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. That help came in some very strange ways.

By the time the Fourth of July rolled around in 2016, the Federal Election Commission had repeatedly contacted the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit. They further warned him that hundreds more may have been foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money. The Sanders campaign, however, did not take any action.

One of the letters they wrote him flagged more than 1,500 questionable donors. Soon after, Tad Devine was paid almost a million dollars in one month by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

We know that the Russians had been plotting to interfere for more than a year before the election took place. The Steele Dossier said the Russians have been cultivating Trump for at least five.

It bears repeating that it’s a very convenient coincidence, that three of the top strategists who ran against Hillary Clinton has been doing Putin’s bidding in this capacity for longer than a decade.

Last Thursday afternoon there was a meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the subject of Russian meddling into our 2016 election cycle.

During it, Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said that Russian operatives targeted both liberal and conservative voters in its disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.

Democratic committee co-chair Sen. Mark Warner (VA) asked the panel if they had any doubt that Russia had attempted to interfere in some aspects of the 2016 election. Alexander said not only did he have no doubt, he could get very specific.

“Senator, I think what they were trying to do was drive a wedge within the Democratic Party between the Clinton group and the Sanders group,” said Alexander. This seems clear at this point to everyone but the willfully uninformed and the fanatically indoctrinated (and disingenuous Republican and other conservatives/libertarians).

The supporters of Bernie Sanders were ruthlessly taken advantage of by the Russians, who used their genuine zeal and idealism as a hammer for smashing Democratic unity to bits. They were duped by false information that came from within the Kremlin itself, and thus unwittingly became Putin’s other puppets.

The man who was in the best position to act as a conduit between the headquarters of the Sanders campaign and the Kremlin was Tad Devine.

This picture provides a vivid reminder of what Democratic activists on Facebook and Twitter have been warning everyone about in the direst of terms since 2015, namely, that the Bernie Sanders campaign was just as lousy with Russian entanglements as the Trump campaign was.

Devine may well hold an important piece of the puzzle here, which undoubtedly lies within the Sanders campaign. As Robert Mueller continues his journey to this discovery, our prayers will be with him.

By now this article has grown to prodigious length, and we applaud the reader who has followed the line all the way home. In his Rise of the Roman Empire, the ancient Greek Polybius said that the most important reason to learn history is so you have a chance to make good predictions about what may happen in the future. Russian interference is heating up for 2020 like never before, Trump has given no funding to the new national cyber-coordinator job, which basically leaves us on our own again, and we’ve got to be prepared for new forms of the same old tricks. Check out our article on Defense for Democrats.

Since this electoral cycle began, Sanders supporters have been joined and even overshadowed by the Tulsi Gabbard trolls.

One allied group of our friends recently created a Facebook page, Tulsi Gabbard Must Go. It’s been around all of a month, and yet, hundreds of trolls have fallen on it since then, like wild dogs. Some of them have shown up to troll the blog, also, like this charming lady.

Lisa Wolf
Edit
This wasn’t written by a millennial. This was obviously written by a neo-liberal, 3rd Way Baby Boomer and stinks of David Brock.
Reply

As for David Brock, we have good things to say about him and every other dedicated Democrat, but we don’t personally know the guy. What I will say, is that I like the smell of my hair pomade. The pleasing fragrance is half the point.

Getting back to Tulsi and Bernie and the rest of the fake left, none of this is very surprising. They’re collecting paychecks for it. Check out the amount of fake activity that accompanies everything she tweets. Keep in mind, Twitter is fighting this. Facebook is not. There are two billion people using Facebook. How incomparably worse must it be!

"Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard's handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya" Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!
“Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard’s handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya” Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!

From this, we can see that the fake left has found a new stronghold in Bernie’s close ally.

Going forward, raising awareness on all this will become more and more important, and although the story is long and multifaceted, the narrative is clear throughout. Russia and Vladimir Putin were definitely feeling the Bern. Look for them to feel him some more as we head into the next presidential cycle.

Julian Assange Indicted! Cyber-Terrorist To Face American Justice.

Assange Indicted!

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been indicted by the United States! It’s a beautiful day for a neighbor.

This story’s release was not destined for the front page- at least, not right away. It was found in an unsealed court filing in an unrelated case. The document contained the phrase “Assange has already been charged”. What is thought to be a simple copy/paste error has got the entire world talking.

Assange is and has been a criminal and a digital terrorist worldwide. He also is a suspected rapist. Assange has now been hiding out in his Ecuadorian embassy home for two years. He is said to live in slovenly conditions and recently had to be ordered by the courts of Ecuador to feed his cat. Animal abuse, no less! It’s time to bring this man to justice.
Wikileaks, under his direction, has attempted to cut the throat of American intelligence time and time again. He has disrupted the functioning of our country in every way he’s been able to think up.
He was involved in helping Edward Snowden. He leaked Chelsea Manning’s documents. He leaked the DNC emails in 2016 that led to the rioting of Bernie Sanders supporters, an event that is said to have astounded the Russians with glee.
He is an enemy of America, and he made himself that way, for no real reason. He did this to himself for fame and glory. Still, American law has been hesitant to condemn him, for fear of setting a precedent of discouraging investigative journalism. It’s important to be decent, even when the guy you’re up against is not.
Assange claims to be neutral, both in general and in regard to our 2016 election, but every single leak ever released by his outlet was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton and no one else. He claimed that was because no data was ever sent to WikiLeaks, about the Sanders or Trump campaigns.
However, the decidedly non-neutral Roger Stone had what he called a “Perfectly Legal” back channel to Assange, who got the electronic documents from the entity known as Guccifer 2.0, who was later proven to be a Russian intelligence officer working for the GRU.
He “gave excuse after excuse” for refusing to publish a trove of documents related to corruption within the Russian government, according to chat logs obtained by Foreign Policy.
Assange has been in this position before, when he was younger, and he failed to learn from the experiences he had. He was a member of the Chaos Computer Club, a European collective infamous for stealing secrets from governments and selling them to the KGB for drugs and money.
Around this same time, in the 1980’s, Vladimir Putin was a young(and according to his old boss, extremely mediocre) lieutenant in the KGB. It is likely these two have known each other for a while.
Wikileaks, underneath the strategic command of Julian Assange, is an important part of a consistent and growing sequence of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States.
His involvement in Brexit, and in the French elections between Macron and Le Pen parallel his efforts in our election. He has also been active in attempting to undermine and hamstring Angela Merkel. He is a willing and active participant in the worldwide far-right conspiracy being headed by Putin.
 Lawfare’s Nicholas Weaver calls this whole process the weaponization of Wikileaks.
“Wikileaks doesn’t seem to care that they are being used as a weapon by unknown parties, instead calling themselves a ‘library of mass education’. But the rest of us should,” Weaver writes.

The evidence so far suggests it’s a weapon that Putin has used to great effect.

There is nothing more important than a free press, an independent press like the one Putin destroyed in Russia. That is not in question. But there is a big difference between journalism and doxing, and the difference is that one is edifying and one is malicious. One seeks to educate and enlighten, and the other seeks only to destroy. In the last analysis, intent speaks for itself, and you get what’s coming to you.

Humanitarian concerns keep us from wishing physical harm on the man. The death penalty is wrong, and torture is wrong, regardless of the circumstances, no matter how egregious the criminal. We don’t feel he should be waterboarded at Guantanamo- the hole at United States Penitentiary-Leavenworth is hard enough. And even though the slipup was actually revealed in a pedophilia case, it is important to note that Assange has only allegedly raped two women in Sweden. Those are two more of the reasons why he needs to be taken somewhere and tried.

When Ecuador first gave asylum to Assange, he was still a hero to many on the left, and to many opponents of “US imperialism”. This sentiment runs deep in South America, and not unjustly so. So he was given asylum; a very decent act on the part of Ecuador.

But that was before he started using their place to hack our elections and do harm to everyone who’s breathing. What a guy. If I were Assange, I would start a GoFundMe for commissary.

And I would feed my cat.

Enemy of the People- Trump’s Attacks On Media Border The Deranged.

Our illegitimate president behaving like a thug.

When demagogues incite their followers to violence, they are to blame. Perhaps they are not solely responsible, but they play a key role, a bigger role than any other person. That is what Donald Trump either doesn’t understand- or understands all too well.

Controversy has emerged in recent days over a story carried by CNN in July that was co-written by Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame. In it, the story gets broken that Michael Cohen knew that Trump knew in advance about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 between members of his campaign team and Russian individuals.

Cohen’s lawyer later said he misspoke, but CNN stands behind the story. Two of its employees told Business Insider senior politics reporter Allan Smith the network’s level of commitment to its story is “100%.”

On Wednesday, Trump called Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who co-wrote the piece, “sloppy” and a “degenerate fool” in response. Bernstein retorted on Twitter that he has spent his “life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties.”

That may be true, but it sure isn’t what Trump wants to hear. And it isn’t what he wants people to do. That’s why he’s always going on vile rampages and outbursts against the American press, people whose jobs are getting more dangerous by the day.

Earlier this year five journalists were massacred at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, and for a few days in the aftermath, Trump toned down his slanders and slurs. He invited New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger to the White House, and for a second it had started to look like things would be okay.

But the next day he reverted to his Stalinist slogan, “Enemy of the People“, to incite his followers to future mayhem.

Not long after, Trump held a “campaign” rally in Tampa. At it, a frenzied mob went berserk with reviles and rage toward CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.

The scene left most of us who write about politics deeply shaken, including Acosta.

“It felt like we weren’t in America anymore,” Acosta said.

Earlier this week, a man named Robert D. Chain was arrested for allegedly threatening to murder journalists at the Boston Globe.  He was said to have been mimicking Trump’s language.

“You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every f***ing one of you.”

Anytime in the past that we’ve had this sort of thing, we’ve always come together to insist that we won’t have it. Whoever our leader has happened to be at the time has always done what they could to help things calm down. They certainly haven’t made it their policy to make things worse by inciting it.

The fact that Trump is doing just the opposite is yet another warning, a huge flashing neon sign, that things have gone wrong and we are now all in a really bad situation.

Earlier this year, we were dismayed to learn the U.S. has dropped to spot 45 in this year’s ranking of countries based on press freedom, conducted by the non-government association(NGO) Reporters Without Borders.

Their survey ranked 180 countries based on factors such as pluralism, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of their news.

Unsurprisingly, the report specifically calls out Trump as the reason for the United States’ reduced standing.

“A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters as ‘enemies of the people,’ the term once used by Josef Stalin,” the report says.

Trump has done more than anyone to appropriate and misuse the term “fake news” in retaliation for critical reporting, even though his campaign was the source of most of the garbage that brought the term into common use.

He also got us bad marks for revoking the broadcasting licenses of media outlets who are critical of him and his lousy policies.

Last year Trump released a doctored pro wrestling video of his halcyon days hanging out at the Madison Square Garden, clotheslining an opponent who has the CNN logo slapped over his head. It was pretty ridiculous to think that such a man is now our president, but that is nevertheless how it went.

The first time it was merely silly, but nobody is laughing now.

This morning, on the topic, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wrote that whether rhetorical excesses can be blamed for violence or the threat of it is a complicated topic, with no easy answers.

I’m not sure I agree. The complexity lies only in degree; it seems pretty clear that people can whip each other up into violence if they’ve got a stage and a microphone.

You don’t have to be Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson, either; there’s no wizardry of dialect needed. Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst told his fans to “get angry” at Woodstock ’99, and they did, and people rioted, and a girl got gang-raped in the middle of the mosh pit.

Is Fred Durst a man who is blessed with the same rhetorical gifts as Cicero or Demosthenes? Doubtful, but he does at least seem to be better than Trump. Was he solely at fault? No. But he certainly helped to kick things off.

Likewise, our nation’s 45th president will have helped to kick off his own fanatical followers, if any of them decide again to actually do what he’s been nudging them to do, and treat members of the press as though they really were Enemies of the People.

Here at Millennial Democrats, we want to emphasize how important a free press is, how important it is to adhere to journalistic standards. Without one we’re back in the Dark Ages. The media is the friend of the people, because they bring the people its information. It’s good to promote this point of view, going forward.

Seeing Truth through Smoke- Disinformation Is Hazardous to Our Heads!

Thank You For Not Lying!

Dr. Alina Polyakova, the David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, is one of the world’s foremost experts on fake news and Russian disinformation. She had a brilliant idea the other day.

In the Western world, we’ve been playing catchup with the Russians for years, trying to find a way to counter the pesky disinformation tactics they’ve become famous for.

She came up with something just as simple as it is profound- to look for an analogous solution, based on the American anti-smoking campaign that started in 1964. These two completely unrelated subjects have some amazing similarities.

In the case of whether or not it’s a good idea to let the Russians loose like attic-bound raccoons in our cyber-grid, spreading disinformation and malware around like scat, the why-nots are obvious, just like with smoking. A rational person has no cause to misunderstand why this would be bad.

What we want to examine are the actual techniques used by the Surgeon General and others to paint cigarettes in the light they deserve- as filthy, smelly, cancerous sticks of death you’ve got to pay for.

That’s the way to go here.

First off, disinformation is dangerous. It leads to a gross devaluation of truth and a breakdown in the entire moral order. Though zany Russian hacker disinformation combos of race-baiting and coordinated cyber-lying may seem silly and random one at a time, they add up.

Ladislav Bittman, the former Communist Czechoslovak deputy chief of the disinformation department, compared the effects of disinformation to a slow acting poison, saying “One drop may not be a problem, but together a dose could be fatal.”

The same is true of nicotine, of course. And eventually, America caught on. But for years, the tobacco companies managed to convince Americans that the opposite was true. They did it with a carefully calculated and billion-dollar effort, based on pseudoscience, lies, and big advertising. It was exactly like what the Russians are doing now.

This is a significant concept for a few reasons. First, it’s always elegant when you can fit an old key in a new lock. She went rifling through the old Public Threat or Menace manual, found a campaign in the past that gave her precedent, and voila.

This is conduct to be emulated as much as possible, especially as that particular connection isn’t easy to see. Well done, Doctor!

Returning to our topic, people have been thinking this whole time that these Russian cybercrimes are all really stylish, powerful, interesting things to do. They think Russian hackers, and they picture this:

Thank You For Not Lying!
Thank You For Not Lying!

What they should be picturing, is this:

Mucky! Gives you cancer!
Disinformation gives you brain cancer!

Think back. When your mother first told you not to smoke cigarettes, did she give you any pamphlets on the subject? Did she cite scholarly sources to you? Or did she just do like mine did, and shout “No! Mucky! Gives you cancer!”

I got the point. Looked it up later.

This thing with the Russian disinformation is exactly the same. It is so obviously bad for America that the case cannot be overstated, and yet they are not listening. The whole thing has had to be completely infanticized, and it’s us who’s changing the diapers.

Inside those disinformation diapers are the images we need to show people.

Disinformation is gross. It’s like being smelly. Telling lots of lies is for the kid nobody wants to sit next to. That’s probably why he became a hacker, the poor schmoe- Glad I’m not that guy!

Disinformation is smoggy. It makes it hard to see, hard to breathe.

The people under its influence get bewildered and don’t know what is what anymore. They just know that they are angry and they want to hit out at something, like Trump is provoking his followers into doing to CNN reporters.

That’s why watching Fox News these days make people behave like they’ve been doing bathtub crank. There’s no bathtub-crank chic. Nobody is remaking Trainspotting, over bathtub crank.

Smoggy. Wasteful. Smelly. Stupid. Gross. These are the reasons people quit smoking. Once smokers realized that nobody was looking at them and seeing the Marlboro Man, they got red in the face and cut it out, en masse.

This will be the case with fake news trolls eventually also.

Sitting around inside all day plunking on a keyboard and trolling is not what healthy adults, ones with actual influence in life, tend to want to do. Many studies have shown this to be the case.

Recently researchers at Australia’s Federation University used an online questionnaire to look closely at the psychology of those who engage in online trolling.

Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that trolls tend to show higher levels of trait psychopathy and sadism.

Trolls also tend to be poor, unfit, unkempt, unhappy. This is not what you want to do. You’re acting out all this harm on yourself for a cheap thrill.

You might as well start smoking.

The modern-day, right-wing Cold Warrior.
The modern-day, right-wing Cold Warrior.

Going forward, the message we have got to get across is a very simple one.

Spreading disinformation and sowing dissent around in the form of fake news is a lousy, negative activity.

It isn’t writing, or programming, or art.

It destroys and does not create.

It does everyone in the world a huge disservice by destabilizing their nations and economies.

It’s gross, it’s stupid and it’s unhealthy. There’s nothing good about it. Cut it out.

Cyber-Defense For Democrats! Security Measures For Midterms.

#CyberDefenseForDemocrats

Hello, world!

We have received numerous requests for a focus piece regarding cyber-defense for Democrats, especially right now as we are going into the midterms. In it is an introduction to a number of the techniques we can use to defend ourselves going forward. Knowledge is power. Pass it on.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require a lot of explanation as to how and why the threat of Russian hacking is real. We have been up against it for years. The time has come to soberly and objectively assess Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities, and examine how we plan to fight back.

In 2016, America was caught off guard and we got a bloody nose. Guys like Roger Stone’s buddy Guccifer 2.0, or the guys in Fancy Bear pulled a fast one, to be sure.

But it’s important not to overstate the case. It is not accurate to attribute cybernetic omniscience to the Russians and their zany bots and fake news.

They had the element of surprise back then. Most people had no idea what they were doing(and rolled their eyes at those who were trying to warn them, but that’s another subject). These days things are very different.

Regardless of the lies of the great orange malignance, America knows the Russians are out to get us. Trump is sticking his head in the sand on this and will do nothing to help us, so we’re going to have to learn to help ourselves, and each other.

It’s too bad we’ve got no national leadership on this, but it is what it is. We’ll get by on our own.

In starting out, the most important thing to keep in mind is this: Hackers rely on our mistakes, and mistakes are most often made when we don’t know we are making them. They need to catch us off guard, and their job is to find creative ways to use their tools to get us to slip up.

The first place a smart hacker will look is outside the box, so to speak. They’re always looking for ways to burrow in that you wouldn’t think to look for.

Employing a given system, be it a human being or a PC, for a purpose it wasn’t designed for is what hacking means. However, if you’re careful, neither you nor your computer will end up thus employed. It’s all about being careful.

Hackers are clever, be they Russian or from elsewhere, but they are far from invincible. We’ve already stopped a number of Russian cyber-assaults directed at Democrats this year, such as the ones aimed at our Claire McCaskill.

Without the element of surprise, hackers have many limitations. It’s not that easy to brute-force open a website. Just ask these guys:

This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.
This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.

Basic cyber-hygiene techniques would cut down on more than 80 percent of cyber attacks and cyber thefts, according to Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It will benefit us to learn a few.

There is a great deal of white-hat(ethical hacking) work that can be done to defend America in this realm, and most of it has to do with how careful we are.

We repeat- It’s all about being careful. This cannot be repeated too often.

Every technique that hackers use, be they DNS attacks against home routers, phishing emails, malware, botnets, or what have you, is ultimately something we can avoid.

In this piece, we’re going to talk about a few common mistakes made by end-users(that means us, the consumer) and how they are exploited by criminals. We’re also going to talk about some of these cyber-hygiene measures and assign them three rules of thumb.

  1. Don’t open strange emails.
  2. Don’t click on strange links.
  3. Don’t accept chat messages from people you don’t know, particularly on Facebook.

Before we get started, think for a second about all your other social media accounts. Are they just as secure as your Facebook or Twitter? Make sure they are! That’s the first place a hacker will go to collect more data about you. You’re particularly vulnerable to having your account on the ones you don’t often use pried open.

As an aside, this is also why you don’t want to use the same passwords for everything. Passwords are obviously critical, as somebody who’s got them has got all your information at his fingertips. Be careful!!

A great deal of a hacker’s job revolves around getting the passwords of their victims. Their most popular tools are all various ways to apply “spear-phishing” hacks, designed to steal passwords and personal data. The unlucky “phish” who opens one has become a victim and is now open to all kinds of trouble.

There are all kinds of ways to go spear-phishing. A brand new one showed up not long ago when U.S. government agencies recently received letters via snail mail.

They came with CDs inside, and they contained malware, according to cybersecurity researcher Krebs on Security. The infected discs were accompanied by a Chinese-postmarked envelope and a “confusingly-worded” letter.

That is just like what they do on Facebook. Hackers make links that look like YouTube videos and various other innocuous things, and they write you some goofy little messages. They look like some cute little harmless thing. Actually, they’re viruses. And you’re hit.

One example that all readers of this blog will vividly recall took place on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious e-mail messages hit the inboxes of thirty people who were closely associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Inside them were links that were actually viruses, like worms on a hook.

Nearly all of them were failures. All but one, actually. But one was enough.

Within nine days, a horrendous amount of critical data had been stolen and passed along to Wikileaks, to be strategically released in a way they figured would hurt us. It did.

Those leaked e-mails, in which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was seen to be fussing over Bernie’s lack of ability to fill out campaign finance forms correctly, were spun up into a narrative that Bernie(who lost by four million popular votes) had been cheated.

Bernie or Bust bought it, there were riots in the streets of Philadelphia, and a rift was torn in the Democratic Party that still has yet to heal.

All of that was made possible, with just a few phished passwords.

To combat phishing is to make sure everyone knows how common and damaging these attacks can be. Everyone should keep their guard up when checking emails, and they should report any email they find suspicious.

It’s necessary to point out here that Facebook phishing in particular is horrendously easy. They can hack you right through your chat box. We recommend in the strongest possible terms that you put as little of your personal information as possible on Facebook.

They save everything. They’re like a gigantic data collection firm, and they’ll sell your personal information to companies like Cambridge Analytica who will use it to hurt us all.

Why risk it?

Facebook presents about a million added vulnerabilities to all of us that use it. When Edward Snowden was asked what to do to keep your data safe on that platform, his response was, “Delete your account.”

We can’t recommend that, as Facebook gives us access to 2 billion people, but we can recommend this much. If people you don’t know send you strange messages on Facebook, don’t accept them.

Facebook was made to brief congressional aides just last week Tuesday about the newest outbreak of anti-Democratic disinformation, which is already said to be evolving into something more sophisticated. Excerpts from that briefing are shown below.

“We are looking at just some of the malicious material that already may be circulating or will be released before the midterms. It also bears repeating that we know the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was targeted.”

Cyber-intelligence experts see this as being major, and with clear reason.

Moving on, it isn’t only Facebook and social media you’ve got to be careful with. Websites too are vulnerable.

Anecdotally, the webmaster of this site has seen hackers from all over the world try to take us down, from Beijing, China to Lviv, Ukraine, from Adelaide, Australia to Beauharnois, Quebec. They use all kinds of tricks, but they’ve never gotten in and they never will.

This is not because I’m a cyber-genius who speaks binary code, but because WordPress is awesome. Sucuri, the plugin that keeps safe all of us Millennial Democrats, is likewise excellent. They care about their clients and they hold the same liberal values sacred that we do.

WordPress users should strongly consider using Sucuri, not least for the reverse IP trace it automatically performs. This has the benefit of letting you know a lot more about who’s trying to hack you. Sometimes it will tell you everything.

Once a flower store owner from Adelaide, Australia tried to hack us. By using a reverse IP trace, Sucuri let us know who she was as soon as she had done so. Then we went to a site called WhatismyIPaddress.com, put it in, and voila.

We were able to get the name of her business by looking at the name of her domain. We then used that to look her up, and jackpot. We found the store’s address, website, and owner. We also found far-right garbage smeared all over her life.

I could put her on blast right here with a screenshot like this one:

My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!
My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!

Then the hunter would rapidly become the hunted.

Luckily for her, I’m not that mean. But the next guy might be. It’s a dangerous game for newbies (noobs- learn your hacker-ese) to play. It’s easy to run into trouble.

Change your life, would-be hacker flower store owner! Mend your wicked ways, before it’s too late.

Speaking of WordPress, using the two-factor authentication feature they offer as part of their platform is another good idea. This is a highly effective security measure and is available for Facebook, Gmail, WordPress, and many other major platforms.

Using this feature means a second device’s input will be required to access email accounts or websites on new computers, usually by prompting you and sending an SMS code to your phone or whatever. This can prevent scammers from accessing compromised accounts.

In addition to good cyber-hygiene, which amounts to common sense, caution, and our three rules of thumb, there are some tools we can use to make our online experience safer still. You may find this necessary, from time to time.

A VPN, or virtual proxy network service, will allow you to register as being somewhere that you’re nowhere physically near. It allows you to safeguard your IP address. You do not want hackers to have your IP address, as it can be used to hurt you in a bewildering multitude of ways. This is probably the biggest reason to use a VPN.

Guccifer 2.0 recently made a mistake and forgot to turn his VPN on, and we connected him to an IP address connected to Russian intelligence. Now his whole identity is blown because he didn’t use his VPN.

We strongly recommend getting one of these, specifically IVPN. They take protecting their customers super seriously and they are located on the Rock of Gibraltar. That fortress strikes me as a good place to keep anything valuable.

HotspotShield is another good one, and also NordVPN. There’s a lot of them; shop around and find one that’s right for you. We feel it’s worth repeating that they are a very good investment.

Additional tools include TOR(The Onion Router), which offers a former naval encryption system that we can now all use. Tor takes all your internet traffic and routes it through its own network, providing total anonymity.

The DuckDuckGo browser, which Tor employs, is good to know about also. It has a number of different features that keep you safe, including a “Flame” feature that burns up all your cookies in a second. Pretty cool.

We suggest you learn Linux, because it is more secure, and 99% of viruses are designed to attack Microsoft products. 

Russian hackers have been targeting home routers of individual people en masse, using what is called a DNS attack. We suggest you check your home router often, using the website Secure Router.

Secure Router is a great free feature that allows you to check if your router has been compromised with the click of a button. Doing this regularly cannot hurt and takes less than a second.

In closing, it’s important to emphasize that this is an introductory piece, and not meant to be totally comprehensive. These techniques will do a lot to keep you safe, but nothing is a substitute for doing your own research.

So far, this has not been the kind of cyber war imagined in the past, with nations taking out each other’s power grids before a mass invasion, although Russian malware continues to turn up in our power stations.

It’s more like a new type of proxy war. Like it or not, against our will, we have begun a new phase of the Cold War, on digital battlefields where you meet the enemy directly, but behind a screen.

Now, just as then, there is a need for deterrence, to defend the nation and hopefully prevent a further escalation of tensions. There is more at stake than we can even put into words. We need to be ready.

There are bigger dangers here than the usual America vs. Russia, liberal world order vs the new world order that the extremist crazies keep screaming that they want kind of thing. This is different completely.

One superpower actively destroying the democratic process of another is new and very dangerous, especially since Russian destability tactics rely heavily on disinformation and a systematic devaluing of the truth.

If nothing is true, everything is permissible. And then our entire species starts down the road to guns and roving mobs.

Disinformation and a post-truth reality are unacceptable, and so is Russian interference into our election, regardless of how many Fox News devotees will slobberingly say otherwise.

We have only got one party ready to defend our democracy from the foreign agitators’ who are trying to destroy it, and that is the Democratic Party. Accept no substitutes.

Due diligence is the key. Hackers will look for things you might be neglecting. Get in some good habits and keep yourself alert, because it all comes down to one thing.

If you are politically active as a Democrat, you are not paranoid. You are a target. Defend yourself.

The Russians are Coming- Mueller Indictments and New Cyber Threats.

WorldwideThreatsHearing

Robert Mueller’s investigation took a dramatic turn on Friday, as grand jury indictments were handed out to 12 different Russians, all formally associated with Russian intelligence, for their hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

On the same day, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned America in the direst of terms to watch out for Russian cyber-thugs this fall. Coats told us to expect “Unprecedented levels of cyber-hacking,” and said, “The warning lights are blinking red again.”

These two issues are directly tied together. The Mueller indictments laid out detailed allegations of how Russia sought to manipulate Americans through social mediaexploit computerized state voting systems and hack the email accounts of Democratic committees and party leaders.

The part of the story these indictments have shed light on focused on how Russian cyber-thugs took cues from the orange malignance in the White House himself, as the Russian government laid out its plan to boost Trump’s bid for the White House.

The court documents also highlight alleged collaboration between Russian hackers and “Organization 1”, clearly fitting the WikiLeaks profile, to steal data from and harm the campaign of Hillary Clinton. We have given some examples below.

“For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.”

July 27 2016 was the night of the first 2016 presidential debate. During that debate, Trump memorably said “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing… I think you will probably be rewarded mightily…”

Barton Gellman, a leading intelligence reporter, responded to this revelation in a tweet: “This is OMFG material. Trump explicitly asks ‘Russia’ to hack Clinton, and Russian intelligence starts trying *the same day*. We look for secret evidence of ‘collusion’ but Trump’s end was always in plain sight. Now we know Russia took his request as a guide to further crimes.”

The indictment also made specific mention of “a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump,” seeking to “help u.”

That got people talking. Right away. And not long after, the conversation came around to Roger Stone.

Stone has admitted that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with Russian hackers such as Guccifer 2.0, now known to be a creation of the Russian intelligence services.

Stone previously boasted screenshots of the conversation online, in which Guccifer 2.0 wrote, “please tell me if i can help u anyhow… it would be a great pleasure to me.” That was back in the good old days before the indictments started coming down and dozens of people started going to prison.

Since then, his tone has changed a little.

“My 24-word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 is benign,” he pleaded in a text to Rolling Stone.

You’re entitled to your opinion, Rog, but the rest of the world does not agree.

In related news, photos have been circulating the Internet of Roger Stone’s old partner and possible future cellmate Paul Manafort, disheveled and miserable and inside of a prison cell. It might not be as spiffy as the office of their old lobbying firm, but it will have to do.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require many reminders of how the Russians pulled off this act of cyber-warfare against the world’s most powerful country. We lived through it and were on the front lines of the battle against it.

There is a certain sense of vindication, in seeing what we all have been warning people about these last two horrible years laid right down in black and white. Roger Stone is almost certainly going to prison, and that too is a decent consolation prize.

But there’s also a tremendous frustration at the lack of an appropriate response coming down from the White House.

Russia openly prepares to hack us once again, the American alt-right vows to help him do it, and what is being done by our President? Nothing.

Our top cyber-security expert was sacked and his department gutted months ago. Trump has opened the doors for new Russian hacking, just as he called for their help on the televised debate two years ago.

Trump is still meeting with Putin on Monday, and he’s still holding rallies for his base on a regular basis. History will revile him for this and for everything else. Until the Blue Wave comes in November, we must draw our comfort from that.

In the meantime, we’ve got hard fighting up ahead, and we are ready for it. This is what we’ve been training for, ever since the elections.

In the weeks to come, we’re going to be focusing a lot on cybersecurity measures we can take, and on key Democratic primary races that the Russians or Republicans may target. Gaslighting is likely to be the least of it.

The Mueller indictments tell us how the Russians did this to us last time. The Coats warning tells us that it’s coming again. Going forward, we’ll be filling the need to study the first carefully so that we’ll be ready for the second. The Russians are coming, and we’ve got to hold the line.

Channel 4 Busts Cambridge CEO- God Save The Queen!

#MillennialDemocrats

Thank you, Great Britain.

Alexander Nix, the chief executive of data mining company Cambridge Analytica, the company at the center of the Facebook data breach, has been caught on tape boasting of using honey traps, disinformation campaigns, and Kompromat campaigns to swing election campaigns around the world, a new investigation reveals.

Executives from Cambridge spoke to undercover reporters from Channel 4 News about the dark arts used by the company to help clients, which included entrapping rival candidates in fake bribery stings and hiring prostitutes to seduce them.

In one exchange, the company chief executive, Alexander Nix, is recorded telling reporters: “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”

Joseph Goebbels thought much the same. So does Vladimir Putin.

The Channel 4 News investigation, broadcast on Monday, comes two days after the Observer reported Cambridge Analytica had unauthorized access to tens of millions of Facebook profiles in one of the social media company’s biggest data breaches.

Cambridge Analytica has been using the exact same disinformation techniques that the Russian Internet Research Agency has.

Instructions were given to the staff of that company to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”

The New York Times and the Observer newspaper in Britain revealed Saturday that Cambridge Analytica got hold of the personal information of 50 million Facebook users and used it to craft ads and messages for President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

So how exactly did that happen? Why was it even allowed?

Those are not questions that have convincing answers. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Facebook is far from on the up and up. Democrats have been silenced on Facebook with impunity from the start. The same people who’ve been silencing us, let these people get away with murder.

Facebook has a tremendous culpability in this matter. It’s good that they’re suspending Cambridge from having any further access, especially after hearing their CEO bragging about how he uses sex workers and bribes to corrupt and ruin rival politicians.

Again, this technique is Russian in origin. They call it Kompromat- the gathering of compromising evidence on someone in order to exert leverage.

We have come to quite an impasse. Russia’s tyrant is actively working to help the Republicans keep power in America. They’ve certainly got plenty of Kompromat on them.

For an example as to the way they gather this Kompromat and what sort of dirt they want can be, we can look to Ralph Shortey, a 35-year-old married father of three. He resigned in disgrace from the state legislature in March.

He was Trump’s campaign chair from Oklahoma, a man who carefully cultivated a strong ‘family values’ man type of image. He also just pled guilty to seven federal counts. Child sex trafficking, felony child prostitution, transportation of child pornography, and production of child pornography.

pleads guilty to Meanwhile, former Campbell County District Judge Timothy Nolan, Trump’s campaign chair in KY, has pled guilty to a similar set of charges. Sex trafficking of minors. 21 counts against 19 victims. Felony trafficking of a minor, felony inducing a minor to engage in sex, and a third count of giving alcohol to a minor.

One wonders if, like his grandfather, Trump has a sex trafficking racket along with his Russian money laundering racket? Just asking .

The president and his closest associates not only know of these efforts but are doing their best to coordinate with them.

Meanwhile, Trump, the president, not only does nothing but lies to the people every day. And when he found out that the FBI was looking into the whole mess, fires the person running the investigation in hopes of putting an end to it.

This is not a movie. This is where the nation stands. The Justice Department has an investigation in full-tilt, with the best guys in the country recruited to get the job done, and the president is doing all he can to find a way to get rid of it.

“The fact pattern that continues to emerge is amazing,” said Rick Wilson, a Republican consultant who stood among the first to question Trump’s ties to Moscow during the GOP primary campaign. “When I was a young cold warrior, back at the dawn of time, we had a healthy suspicion of Russia.”

In the meantime, Trump recently did what he’s never done before and directly taken aim at Robert Mueller on Twitter.

Robert Mueller himself has been a Republican all his life. That does not seem to be something Trump likes to bring up. It certainly did not stop Trump from nearly firing him last June, on a conflict of interest beef relating to, of all things, golfing fees. The whole thing has degenerated to the level of a kindergarten in the DeVos school system.

Is this what we want for our country? Aren’t we fed up yet? How much farther do we have to go? It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that most of us are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Thank God for Great Britain, is all I can think of to say. If it wasn’t for them, we’d be in this alone, and up to our necks. I personally have learned not to take them for granted. Thank you, Brits.

There is a sign of light on the horizon, however. It’s called a #BlueWave. The way it works is really simple, too. Vote Democratic, and the nightmare ends. Vote Democratic, and professionals come in and start cleaning up the mess. Vote Democratic, and America is certain to remain America, because the best will make sure it is.

If you’ve had enough of living in the zoo, vote blue.

Mueller Indicts Russian Trolls- Trump Proved Wrong!

#TrumpIsWrong

It had been looking like a rough month for the Russiagate investigation. Trump has seemed panicked and disjointed, and his slanders have grown desperate and shrill. The Nunes memo, the attacks against the FBI, the talk of firing Robert Mueller, the accusal of bias toward Trump on the part of investigators involved with the case.

All of it pointed a giant red arrow toward something big coming down in their direction. And on Friday, we found out what.

Three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft. They were also charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Department of Justice announced Friday.
“The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said.
Trump was quick in taking to Twitter to point out that this hasn’t proved collusion yet, but come on. As Bob Dylan once said, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
The indictment is sweeping and describes in detail an unprecedented campaign by Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. The longstanding conclusions of the US intelligence community have now been fully vindicated.
It is also completely at odds with Trump’s repeated denial of those conclusions, which has continued throughout his first year in office. According to CNN, Trump is still not convinced that Russia meddled in the election, and of course, we know he’s ignored Congress in upholding the sanctions on Russia.
Trump is always talking up how he knows everything about everything. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that he knows everything about this topic, at least.
The indictment gave us many new details, of communications between unnamed Trump campaign officials and the Russian defendants.

A personal anecdote. The editor of Millennial Democrats was online alongside legions of others, out there for HRC from 2015 onward, every day, for many hours. Anyone who was there back then can tell you. It can be stated categorically that there was a tangible, palpable disinformation campaign going on.

You would go into groups and talk to people, who were steadfast in their refusal to listen far beyond the bounds of reason or even fanaticism. These guys were professionals.

It was like they were getting paid per response. They all seemed to be equipped with the same list of hit points about Hillary Clinton. This became clear after a while because the very same slanders would be laid out every time, in sequential order. In many cases the wording was actually identical, although most took the time to switch about at least a thing or two. And they were just as prevalent on the left as on the right.

It got especially bad during the last month of the Democratic primary, which was a very horrible time filled with chaos and division. During this time, we were savagely attacked. Anything we posted would be Reported as Spam/Abuse by political adversaries from both the far right and left. We were barraged with nasty messages and threats. One particularly rabid group of Bernie Sanders supporters told one of our contributors that they hoped she was gang-raped. The list is very long, and very sordid.

Therefore, when we found out today that according to the indictment, Russia’s Internet Research Agency had a “strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system”, including the election, it was far from a surprise to us.
At the time, nobody wanted to listen. We were treated like we were crazy. But it became clear before long that we were not paranoid, although it was difficult not to come off that way in real life conversations. We expected a certain amount of eye-rolling, and we got it.

We didn’t blame the people, though. The whole thing was unprecedented, not to mention pretty implausible. Even our intelligence agencies were not fully aware of what was going on. This kind of thing has never happened here before. This sort of attack has in the past been used only by superpowers against small, Third World countries. We were never considered so vulnerable.

The anger and despair caused by the 2016 election opened a door. The smear job on Hillary Clinton represented a quarter- century’s work and God only knows how many millions of dollars on the part of the GOP. They had long ago ensured there was no end of mud to sling. And trusty Wikileaks was always around to make sure there was no shortage of new indecencies. We were all online for this, every single day.

The new information, as confirmed today by Robert Mueller’s indictment, states clearly that thirteen Russians posted “derogatory information about a number of candidates”.
They bought ads and communicated with people tied to the Trump campaign and others in order to coordinate political activities. They even went so far as to coordinate their activities on our soil.
The indictment also mentions a February 2016 memo to Internet Research Agency staff. The instructions given were to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).” No wonder his people don’t want him to touch “the Russia thing”.
This is solid confirmation of what we have been saying all along. The specific mention of Trump and Sanders shows that the Russian government decided early on to oppose Clinton. Looks like we finally know for sure why Bernie would not vote to sanction Russia.

Being involved as a Democratic activist has often been really scary because of the constant Russian harassment. It was a violation of everything we are entitled to as American citizens. Russia used their disinformation machine against us with tremendous effect, just as they have done in Ukraine or Syria. We were actively being targeted, by foreign agents, for participating in our own electoral process.

We had wanted to make our voices heard, and to make a difference in our own futures. Instead, we found ourselves on the front lines of a virtual battlefield, fighting the first skirmishes in this new kind of proxy war we were to be fighting with the Russians.

 

This, combined with the blatant insanity of the Trump base, and the rabidly overzealous conduct of a dangerously high percentage of Bernie Sanders supporters made for an extremely nasty cocktail of filth for the Russians to fling about on social media, amplifying their messages through a mixture of robot armies and highly targeted advertising.

It is to be hoped, now that our American leaders know, that they will do something to give us a hand. We are still here, and ready to be of service, and as warriors of the information age, we are the ones best placed to do it.

The best defence against Russian trolls is a well-educated public and a lot of tech-savvy Democrats beating them back. No amount of disinformation can ultimately prevail against facts. The key is to get our message out there as far as we can, to as many people as we can. Raising awareness constitutes the one sure path to an ultimate victory.

A Defense Against Fake News- Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

#StopLying

The news on TV this week has all been very good for Donald Trump, although his job performance has been every bit as lousy as ever. The pattern is clear. Whenever he’s got somebody else to point the finger at, his ratings go up.

The cost of Robert Mueller’s investigation has been thrown up in our faces, as if it were an unnecessary expense, or a service performed just for Democrats. Several of the members of Mueller’s team have been attacked as well, and their motives called into question.

For the record, Robert Mueller left a $3.4 million partner job to serve as the special counsel overseeing the law enforcement investigation into whether the Kremlin and the Trump campaign coordinated to impact the 2016 election, according to documents released on Monday at a request from the Washington Post.

Trump has also been receiving undue credit for the economic bounce that Obama worked eight years to assure us. His moronic provocation of a travel ban finally went through, and so on.

All of this is being slowly made possible by a “post-truth” reality defined by the random slanders of an increasingly demented Trump.

The eminent opinion of Kellyanne Conway notwithstanding, there are no such things as alternative facts. They’re just good old fashioned lies.

But here are a couple of real facts. The new administration has declared war on accurate information. And because of that, every last thing with a shred of decency in American society is either under attack or being twisted to evil ends.

Basically, the truth does not suit Donald Trump’s agenda. So he has resolved upon making a new truth. He’s good at this. It has gotten him through a lifetime.

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels said that the key to getting people to believe a lie was in repetition, and that the bigger lies were easier to tell then the little ones.

This viewpoint, which denies objectivity and assumes the worst of everyone, is the cornerstone of fascist philosophy. And under Trump, a number of new ideas are being employed as vehicles to carry and spread the new ideas about.

One of these is a project designed to target social media specifically, a mock-TV news report touting the imaginary successes of President Trump. It is being dubbed “Trump TV” on his official campaign Facebook page.

If the Russians have sent in advisers here, they are certainly doing their job.

Earlier this year upon launching the project, the talking head of Kayleigh McEnany made its mouth speak many a falsehood on the August 6 episode of the new administration’s Trump TV project. It looked like a Trump-Pence lawn sign.

“Overall, since the president took office, President Trump has created more than one million new jobs, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high”, and so on.

Every bit of it is an exaggeration, a theft of credit from President Obama, or an outright utter lie.

Next to her face, a small screen showed various images of a happy, senile Trump speaking to stadiums packed with adoring fans; underneath the images blared the word “Jobs.”

It all read straight out of 1984.

For now, Trump TV is a small operation, cheaply produced and disseminated through Facebook, but it’s clear it will soon be getting bigger. It’s the spearhead of an effort by media giant Sinclair Broadcasting. It’s troubling in the utmost to watch the new administration both sanction and invent new media mouthpieces through which to spread outright lies. This is not a healthy sign.

Since the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, which mandated that equal airtime and coverage be given to the points of view of both major political parties, we have seen partisan organizations like Sinclair worming their way into buying up the whole apparatus. Now a number of them are no longer even American. This state of affairs is a travesty.

Bill Clinton, the most notable target of syndicated conservative talk shows cited the unbalanced nature of conservative talk radio, where “big money” is fueling “right wing talk shows.” This is why we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the very first segment of the alt-right’s information pipeline that we have got to sever is the part of it stretching here from Russia.

Former White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg is one of the strongest advocates for this point of view, and he ought to know. He used to work for Sputnik. But these days, he openly admits the site’s content being “foreign propaganda, not news.”

His claim is that organizations like RT and Sputnik hold a pervasive influence on right-wing, pro-Trump, news websites. “Many of the most popular articles about things like WikiLeaks and pizzagate and other conspiracy theories were prominently featured on the Sputnik website,” said Feinberg.

In a recent Politico article Feinberg described parting ways with Sputnik earlier this year. He felt he was being bullied and pressured to pursue fake stories, including the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. He knew that he was being “fed” questions.

A news site which is funded by a hostile foreign government with the express purpose of reporting fake news and brazenly lying to the people of America is an outrage. There’s no other word for it. Any person who doesn’t understand that is one already lost to the opposition.

A journalist sacked by the Kremlin-funded Sputnik news network claimed that right-wing U.S. outlets like Infowars, Breitbart and Gateway Pundit are joined by RT and Sputnik as functioning parts of this right-wing media ecosystem.

The crux of the problem is that we’re not all being given the same information.

Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center recently produced an analysis of the subject which they entitled Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. In it, they made the following observation.

“We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.”

Democrats remain interested in things like truth and reason. The opposition has discarded those virtues as impractical, if not actively detrimental, to their various causes.

Although Fox itself does still usually take the time to bother putting a veneer of professional journalism on their stuff, they still know who a large part of their audience is, and they cater to it.

If you watch Fox News these days, you won’t just find the usual conservative twist anymore. Much of their old content has become too truthful for many of their viewers. It’s not hardcore enough anymore. These people want uglier mud to sling at their liberal foes. A website called Liberty Headlines will tell you all about it.

This is why Fox has partnered with a more extreme conservative media. One resolved on developing the concept to its evolutionary apex: sheer, pure propaganda.

It seems painfully obvious in hindsight that twenty years of media consolidation has been bad for our democracy.

The exaggerations and falsehoods emanating from right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart News have infected mainstream discourse.

Though the Berkman- Klein report we mentioned earlier does an excellent job of laying out the challenge posed by Breitbart and its ilk, it is less than clear on how to counter it. One very interesting solution has been employed by our neighbors to the North, in Canada, with a surprisingly effective result.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, is a regulatory media commission like the FCC. It is not large and it does not often have a need to make the news. But back in 2011, a rather small decision by a relatively small government agency in Ottawa made a pretty big splash.

In April, a major player in the Canadian media scene, Quebecoir Media, planned a launch of what they called Sun News, or Sun TV. It was billed as a Canadian analogue to FOX News, by which they meant a broadcast news outlet with a skewed and partisan conservative perspective.

But Sun News hit a major snag, in the form of a CRTC rule on “prohibited programming content” that includes “broadcasting false or misleading news.”

That rule means that in Canada they can ban lying in the media.

If the human race is going to avoid a significant degradation of its own condition, then we have to maintain our objectivity. We can’t be lulled to sleep by Trump-brand fairy tales.

It’s time we stopped letting wingnut billionaires clutter up our airwaves with their nonsense just because they’ve got the money to throw their weight around. Legislation must be passed immediately to make perfidy in the American news an official crime.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, but America never stopped being great. If we wish to keep that intact, the removal of state-sanctioned falsehoods would be a very good start. Bring back the Fairness Doctrine, and make it illegal to call poisonous deceit the news. It’s really pretty simple. Just vote a straight blue ticket next year, and get everyone you know to do the same. It is time we started doing laundry.

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