For the last fourteen years, I’ve been studying disinformation campaigns and the data trails they leave behind on the Internet. And I’ve conducted countless one-on-one interviews with dozens of sources from government and military, and with journalists, researchers, and defectors from these networks.
January 6th was the culmination of decades worth of groundwork. We can trace many disinformation and infiltration campaigns back to about 2011. But the broader effort reaches back to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. And those efforts in turn have roots that go back to the 1930's.
This essay series is an effort to tell this…
This article is the coda to a six-part series.
“Governments lie; bankers lie; even auditors sometimes lie. Gold tells the truth.” — William Rees-Mogg
In 1996, James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg published “The Sovereign Individual,” a manifesto that predicts the decline and fall of the nation-state and its institutions. They describe the imminent rise of “digital cash” as a replacement for fiat currency, and suggest that “sovereign individuals” will increasingly wrest control from failing governments and weak, inflationary fiat currencies. One recent reviewer described the work as “implementation details for Atlas Shrugged.” …
As early as February 2020, with the pandemic looming on the horizon as a huge potential liability for the Republicans, the Council for National Policy (CNP) identified three strategies that might help to avoid a loss—or at the very least muddy the waters. According to author Anne Nelson:
The first involved expanding their use of data to juice Republican votes and suppress Democratic turnout. The second was to mobilize supporters in swing states to ignite Tea Party–like protests against the virus-related public safety lockdowns. …
Today when people talk about molestation, they are almost always talking about sexual molestation. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, it had been used in connection in discussion of libertarian theory, which has since gone on to inform so-called “paleoconservative” political philosophies.
In libertarianism, molestation describes the subversion of the will of another. If someone has a cookie, and someone else takes it, the taker is “molesting” the cookie’s owner. This sounds nutty to a modern reader, but when this theory was being advanced in the 1950’s, it sounded more normal than it does today.
Anti-communist hard-liners in the military and intelligence community have been in conflict with the idea of civilian oversight for decades. The novel “Seven Days In May,”released in September 1962, depicts this conflict in gripping detail. A film adaptation began production in 1963. Inspired in part by the 1933 “Business Plot” exposed by Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, it also deftly spoke to current events.
Tom Fitton is an idea. In 1989, William S. Lind formalized the principles of what he called “Fourth Generation Warfare.” Without getting too technical, fourth generation warfare is all about messing with the minds of your opponent, and getting ahead of their decision-making processes.
Before Steve Bannon’s name was well-known in the realm of politics, he was known for intervening in the strange, cultish science experiment known as Biosphere 2. He was hired by Texas oil billionaire Ed Bass to help curb costs on the project as it was widely seen as getting out of control. In broad strokes, Biosphere 2 was a kind of “Burning Man” happening, but re-cast as science fair project set in the Arizona desert. Run by a collective of theater geeks, it arguably was as much a product of the counter-culture as it was any kind of scientific exploration…
This is part one of a six part series.
The New York Times dubbed the year 1975 “the year of intelligence,” as Congress pursued a series of investigations in response to widespread allegations of abuse. From COINTELPRO to revelations about US Army intelligence, to concerns about covert CIA assassination efforts, there was a growing sense that the intelligence community (specificially FBI, the CIA, military intelligence, and other agencies) had gone rogue. Congress demanded answers.
Recently, I’ve been able to answer some major questions about what the hell is going on in the world. The answer is ugly. But in actually knowing, we now have a chance to do something about it.
The world operates on just three real things: power, money, and networks. Everything you see, everything you perceive or think you believe is an artifact of the interplay of those forces. Ideology and parties slide around on top of networks, and let us tell stories to ourselves that justify how we interact with networks and power.
People are wired differently. Some people think…
It may seem like an old debate now — and indeed I’m not interested in rehashing the past or re-litigating the 2016 election. But this week, one in which we adjudicated the “boom” that lay at the end of a series of information operations, I wanted to revisit one important point which remains poorly articulated even among experts on the topic.
One morning this week, I tuned into two talks by experts on information operations. Thomas Rid, whose recent book Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare, offers a broad historical overview of information operations employed by…