Saturday, December 10, 2022

Narratology: From the #TwitterFiles

 The Republican noise machine, including this putz, a former reporter who got fired from BuzzFeed in 2014 after 41 of his stories were busted for plagiarism, now reinvented aa a podcaster for "God, Family, America", with gigs on NewsMax, Parler, and Charlie Kirk's Turning Point USA (coincidentally I just removed him from my Twitter yesterday in my #ProjectMute program, which is why I know all this at the moment), is shocked! shocked! to learn that Twitter's Trust and Safety officers were meeting regularly with the FBI during the 2020 election campaign. 

This from the #TwitterFiles "investigation" being carried out by famous independent journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss ("investigation" in scare quotes because the investigating seems to consist basically of reading the stuff Mr. Musk gives them and trying to squeeze it into some kind of narrative arc).

Pretty sinister, huh? And Twitter's deputy general counsel at the time, Jim Baker, used to be


a FBI lawyer under former Director James Comey during the bureau’s probe of Russian interference 

Actually he was not just "a FBI lawyer" but the general counsel of the FBI from 2014 through 2017; I don't know if Taibbi's googling skill was able to take him that far,  but he seems to think he'd made a huge discovery, and so did Mr. Musk, who fired Baker the next day for this lowlife association, or, as the Above the Law website put it, 

literally just doing his job! The legal department is there to shield the company from risks like, as a random example, knowingly posting hacked dick pics.

But seriously, why on earth would Yoel Roth be having weekly meetings with these three intelligence agency heads? That's like practically the entire US intelligence community! What's going on here?

I don't know, Bari, but I just happen to have the entire US intelligence community right here with me, and I asked them, on the subject of the 2020 presidential election:

Key Judgment 2: We assess that Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US. Unlike in 2016, we did not see persistent Russian cyber efforts to gain access to election infrastructure. We have high confidence in our assessment; Russian state and proxy actors who all serve the Kremlin’s interests worked to affect US public perceptions in a consistent manner. A key element of Moscow’s strategy this election cycle was its use of proxies linked to Russian intelligence to push influence narratives—including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden—to US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration.

(Their bold.)

It's just possible that the entire US intelligence committee believed that Twitter might be "a US media organization", and Rudolf Giuliani looking for "dirt" on Hunter Biden in association with the recently indicted Ukrainian money launderer Andrii Derkach

According to OFAC [the Office of Foreign Assets Control], Derkach was “an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services,” who “waged a covert influence campaign” to undermine the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

(My bold.)

could be a "proxy linked to Russian intelligence", and some of those computer files of dubious provenance associated with the mysterious laptop and used by Giuliani and his surrogates (Stephen Bannon and Guo Wengui/Miles Kwok, I'll try to get to this part some day) to suggest corrupt activities in Ukraine and China on Joe Biden's part might well be thought of as supporting "misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden", especially if they are, as I've been saying, actually misleading and unsubstantiated.

Just a thought, you know, though not a thought Matt Taibbi could allow himself to have, for whatever reasons professional or private. It's just conceivable that the entire US intelligence community has been taking itself seriously in its consistently high-confidence assessments since 2016 of Russian efforts to provide undercover assistance through social media (among other things) to the Trump Republican election campaigns.

And it's just conceivable that the entire US intelligence community was working with Twitter, a recognized battleground in this media warfare, to protect it, and the American public, from the assault. 

Well, maybe not the Trump Department of Homeland Security, where the illegally appointed top guy seems to have been working for Russia on this issue

FORMER ACTING SECRETARY of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf delayed and changed an intelligence report warning of Russian interference in the 2020 election due to concerns it would “hurt” former President Trump, according to an investigation by the department’s inspector general office.

The watchdog’s office said it interviewed an individual in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) “who told us the Acting Secretary asked the product be held because it made President Trump look bad and hurt President Trump’s campaign — the concept that Russia was denigrating candidate Biden would be used against President Trump.” The product, titled “Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Electoral Dynamics,” was first being drafted in April 2020 after then-candidate Biden had assumed frontrunner status in the Democratic primary.

or Trump DNI John Ratcliffe, who also participated,

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The extraordinary disclosure, released to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier Tuesday, rankled Democrats, who said the move effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 electio

But at least FBI, which continued its counterintelligence investigation of Trump and Russia after Mueller's departure and resisted Trump's and Barr's efforts to get them to retaliate against their own (in my opinion).

It actually makes a lot of Occam's Razor sense to believe so, that everybody in the story is working with the simplest motivations (from Putin wants Ukraine and Trump wants a Moscow hotel down to FBI wants to do its job as they understand it in the 2010s, which isn't all that radically different from the way they understood it in the Cold War, just generally better educated and generally less ideologically poisoned, and Twitter wants to do its job too, when it's not being terrorized by a stochastic billionaire who is mainly interested in amazing the world with the originality of his actually not very original thoughts, and Yoel Roth was working for Twitter trust and safety) rather than an inexplicable malignancy like the figures on a Glenn Beck blackboard such as Taibbi and Weiss are assembling.

No comments:

Post a Comment