Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Keep the Russiagate Revenue Flying (continued)

The timing of these two announcements (within 24 hours of each other) is probably just a weird coincidence:

1. Monday: The State Department, using funds donated by the bloated Pentagon, is launching a brand new $40 million offensive against scary "foreign propaganda."

2. Tuesday: Alumni of the Clinton and Obama administrations are launching a brand new major national security "strike force" against scary Donald Trump's scary responses to the scary foreign propaganda.

The first initiative is designed to propagandize against the Enemy Outside, and the second one is designed to propagandize against Enemies Inside, Outside and All Over. Both offensive forces are ultimately designed to instill the requisite levels of free-floating anxiety in an already anxious, yet unduly depressed and disgusted and financially strapped, electorate. If they can't get people to the polls with the promise of a better life tomorrow, maybe they can get people to the polls by dangling the prospect of no life at all tomorrow. 

 Be miserable and barely hanging on, or be dead. It's your choice.

The first initiative adds massive amounts of military money to the State Department's Center for Global Engagement, which Barack Obama signed into law in 2016 for the express purpose of propagandizing directly to the American public. In other words, it is an elite and glorified troll farm that should be the envy of those 13 grossly underpaid and recently indicted Russian sock puppets. From The Hill:
The new influx of funds will bolster the center’s operations in the current fiscal year. 
“This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight,” Steve Goldstein, the department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, said in a statement. 
“It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive.” 
The announcement comes less than two weeks after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians for allegedly participating in an elaborate scheme to meddle in the 2016 presidential election by creating false U.S. personas and spreading divisive content on social media platforms.
Goldstein comes to his diplomatic gig direct from Corporate America, where most recently he was chief of marketing for BP Global Solutions. Previously he was a vice president for TIAA, a financial consulting firm, and also had served as vice president of communications for the Wall Street Journal. As founder of a start-up called Winning Algorithms, he seems absolutely perfect for his new gig doling out public money for all manner of aggressive and offensive things.

This definitely falls into the category of "Keep the Russiagate Revenue Flying," given that the Silicon Valley tech giants are obviously being paid directly by the government to censor content that the government doesn't like. Facebook, for example, has already announced it will hire at least a thousand new law enforcement and surveillance state personnel by the end of this year to monitor the ads and political posts from its users. When you think about it, $40 million to fight the grossly underpaid Russian trolls sneaking their cheesy click-bait ads onto social media is probably just a down-payment. Censorship and the suppression of dissent costs a lot of money.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a Trump appointee who has openly called Trump a "moron" and nonetheless continues serving at the pleasure of Trump, has no choice but to go along to get along. There's lots of oil and gas out there, and his own recent employer, Exxon-Mobil, and its investors and stockholders, are no doubt counting on him.
The new money will be used, in part, to supply grants to civil society groups, media providers, academic institutions, private companies and other organizations that are working on projects to counter disinformation. 
The department said it plans to award an initial $5 million in grants from the so-called Information Access Fund. The fund will receive $1 million in initial seed money from the State Department’s public diplomacy coffers in order to get off the ground quickly, the department said.
And lo and behold, quick as a wink, "National Security Action" sprang into action - less than a day after the State Department announced that any number of vague, unnamed entities will be partaking in the propaganda windfall for a whole new offensive army of paid meat puppets  Again, it's probably a total coincidence, given that the 200 Obama and Clinton alumni are coyly not revealing who, exactly, will be paying their bills. The Washington Post, which got the big scoop, didn't bother to ask - possibly because it, too, is partaking of the State Department troll farm "seed money" to prevent all that domestic discontent-sowing going on around here.
"We decided, essentially, this is an emergency moment and that there was a need to pull together the national security community on the progressive side to counter Trump's policies and put forward an alternative" in this midterm year, said  (former Obama national security adviser) Ben Rhodes, one of the founders.
Leaders of the new group described its mission exclusively to The Washington Post ahead of its debut Tuesday....
 We're a temporary organization. Our hope is to be out of business in three years," Rhodes said.
(When, presumably, they can all traipse back into more secure security gigs  under a Democratic majority.)

The new group of credentialed experts, via TV appearances and op-eds and Democratic campaign consultancies, hopes to instill a new brand of existential angst into voters which Hillary Clinton simply could not sell them. The problem, says Democratic national security strategist Wendy Sherman, is that voters were more seduced by Trump's populist message than they were scared by his reckless bellicosity and his appalling ignorance of international affairs. Therefore, it is the new group's daunting task to scare voters into accepting the Democrats' and Republican neocons' more discreet ways of waging wars and colonizing the world's populations via trade deals and corporate plunder and predatory loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Of course, being a career diplomat herself, she didn't put it quite that way. Because that would have been way too Trump-like and crass.

She cited climate change and Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accord as one decision with deep national security implications, and the heightened rhetoric and tension surrounding North Korea's nuclear program as another. The group will also focus on cyberthreats in general and Russian election interference and Trump's response in particular, Sherman and others involved in the effort said.
"It's not easy to talk about national security issues" in local elections, Sherman said. "Most often, people don't see it as having anything to do with their daily lives, but here we have climate change, North Korea and other issues that have everything to do with people's lives. I think people are much more aware of it" now than in 2016, Sherman said.
Again - $40 million to convince Americans, most of whom don't have enough savings socked away to pay for an emergency car repair, that North Korean nukes and Russian interference should be their most pressing concerns, doesn't seem like nearly enough cash to pay all these "aggressive" experts. 

And as for Trump caring about a $40 million or even a billion-dollar domestic propaganda campaign that also has him in its cross-hairs: he doesn't. He's already achieved fame and personal fortune beyond his wildest dreams. All the negative and never-ending attention in the world - even from his own Secretary of State - has been nothing but beneficial for his brand.


Anna Imaradicalova said...

Well that's a revolting development! Fair warning - it triggered me. Since Hillary started this stupid war, I'm dragging her into it and not letting go.

Americans are a lot more concerned about keeping their kids alive than about the Russians, despite the massive propaganda efforts to hype up demand for war with Russia. Generalissima Hillary herself even warned us today that "The Russians are still coming".

From her Twitter account: "I say this as a former Secretary of State and as an American: the Russians are still coming. Our intelligence professionals are imploring Trump to act. Will he continue to ignore & surrender, or protect our country?"

Will HILLARY "continue to ignore & surrender" to the gun lobby, or will she "protect our country" and children by fighting them and the rest of the war and death profiteers? It's interesting how fast she got past the Parkland shooting, not mentioning it for the past several weeks, at least on Twitter. But she can't seem to get beyond Russia to save her life - or childrens' lives.

Instead she's taking the cowardly way out by praising the kids and encouraging THEM to do what she's not willing to do herself - take up and lead the fight for their right to life, to not be gunned down in a massacre. It makes sense though. Hillary has NEVER spoken up or done anything to protect children or anyone else from massacres called WARS. She hasn't even marched or protested. How can Hypocrite Hillary claim to be for women and children and not be anti-war? She's schizo.

I've got an idea for the kids. Demand that until Congress enacts effective gun control to their liking, that $40 million appropriated for propaganda should be used to immediately purchase top of the line bullet-proof vests for every student in the country. Hey, if it's good enough for the Congresscreeps who just voted to for taxpayers to pay for bulletproof vests and armed guards for themselves, then it's damned well good enough for innocent children.

The kids should make that body armor their *first* demand. Then demand helmets if the gun issue isn't resolved to their satisfaction within oh, say 30 days. Then personal body guards for each of them. Most importantly, they need to give Congress DEADLINES for their demands to be met to prevent more DEAD, then escalate when their demands are not met. At the very least, it will keep their issue on the front burner. If they make it dramatic political theater, the media will lap it up.

Remember when parents of soldiers in the Middle East were actually forced to buy body armor to send their kids because the military failed to protect them? It's the same situation now, and not totally unrelated either. Guns are guns, no matter where they're used to massacre others.

As Hillary once said about another time when she tragically failed to protect, "At this point, what difference does it make?" Treat war zones as war zones. Obama and Congress designated our country a Homeland battlefield, so we should all be provided with body armor, not just the soldiers, police, and Congresscreeps.

We need to hold their feet to the (gun)fire, and Hillary's feet are a good place to start, but how? She desperately needs consciousness raising.

Karl Kolchak said...

It's even worse that you think. I'm a retired State Department employee who spent 22 years doing compliance work there, and I can can tell you from personal experience that not only does DOS do a terrible job overseeing the use of the grant money it doles out, but its propaganda arms are among its worst run offices--likely because there is no way to measure whether the (dis)information being disseminated is having any effect on popular opinion, and because working for those offices is not terribly career enhancing for foreign service officers.

Anna Imaradicalova said...

Hillary Clinton's Pied Piper strategy backfired, so for 2020 she's adopting the Paul Revere strategy in an effort to make a heroic comeback by riding the coattails, if not the horse, of yet another man.

"One if by land, two if by sea. The Russians are coming!"

The Global Engagement Center will pay good money for the right messaging from the right people, especially a former SoS and winner of the popular vote for President with a following in the millions. Never one to miss a chance to cash in, Pauline Revere could be on their payroll. At any rate, she's definitely sucking up to the Regime as usual.