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Friday, February 16, 2018

The Alex Jones disinformation machine. Plus: Bannon

Who the hell is Kit Daniels?

This Infowars author hasn't really been on my radar until now, although previous posts have discussed his work without mentioning his name. Daniels appears to be the prevaricator behind those false stories about Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. According to Daniels (and no-one else), Paddock's lair was immersed in "Antifa literature," while Paddock himself had converted to Islam and was working for ISIS. Also, former CIA Director John Brennan converted to Wahhabism.

Good lord. Where does one begin with such absurdities?

Antifa has nothing to do with Islam or with ISIS. To the best of my knowledge, that group doesn't produce "literature." (Does any group? This isn't the 20th century; political organizations no longer pass out pamphlets.) No-one who knew Paddock confirms that he favored Antifa. Even if one were to stipulate, for the sake of argument, that he did admire Antifa, we have to ask: Why would the killer implicate the group by spreading "Antifa literature" all over that hotel room? Come to think of it, why would any mass murderer decorate his lair in such a fashion? Why does all other reporting on Paddock indicate that he was a very different sort of man?

As for that John Brennan remark: Daniels "proves" this with a link to a story by the notoriously unreliable Wayne Madsen -- whose actual piece does not say or imply that Brennan converted to anything.

In short: The Daniels report on the Vegas massacre made no sense whatsoever.

Now we have Kit on the recent Florida tragedy. Wonkette and a Twitter used named "Respected Lawyer" have done some excellent work exposing Kit Daniels as a deliberate liar.

Daniels published a piece featuring a picture which he says depicts accused killer Nikolas Cruz wearing a "communist" t-shirt.

In fact, that's a picture of a completely different young man, wearing a joke t-shirt. (Karl Marx wearing a lampshade at a communist "party" -- get it?)



Neither Kit Daniels nor Alex Jones can claim that they made an innocent error. This is deliberate lying.

Daniels said that Cruz was "Inspired by ISIS -- Allahu Akbar." In fact, Cruz hates Muslims and had used that phrase mockingly, in a tweet disparaging that religion.

Daniels also said that Cruz wears "ISIS" style garb in his Instagram photos, even though photos actually show him wearing MAGA and United States Army caps.

We've seen these kinds of lies before. Some of you may recall that, on the morning after the "Dark Knight" massacre in Colorado, right-wing disinformationists spread the false story -- based on no evidence whatsoever -- that killer James Holmes was a "member" of Occupy Wall Street, an amorphous group which has no real membership and which had no known link to Holmes. (This accusation was first mooted by one Bill Warner, who offered as "proof" the fact that that Holmes was "white and underground...it all fits." On the right, that kind of argument is considered conclusive.) When neo-Nazi Wade Michael Page shot up a Sikh temple in 2012, the conspiracy-addled right immediately painted him as a liberal Democrat associated with Occupy Wall Street.

Not many years ago, that sort of smear campaign was relegated to comments and tweets. Daniels is paid to provide what he calls journalism. He cites "FBI sources" who, I am quite sure, do not exist.

Here's another example of the wit and wisdom of Kit Daniels:
DID THE CHEMTRAIL FLU KILL PRINCE AND MERLE HAGGARD?

Was Prince killed by the chemtrails he and Haggard spoke out against?

The artist known as Prince has died suddenly of a mysterious illness, just like Merle Haggard, and both men previously spoke out against chemtrails many have suggested are responsible for a surge in respiratory illnesses.

“The singer — full name Prince Rogers Nelson — had a medical emergency on April 15th that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois, but he appeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay,” TMZ reported April 21. “His people told TMZ he was battling the flu.”

A mysterious illness has been spreading across the U.S., coinciding with massive chemtrail spraying – and it’s possible the two are linked.
Oh, those clever, clever chemtrails! They targeted two enemies who lived in the midst of thousands of people. Heretofore, I did not know that chemtrails were capable of pinpoint accuracy.

Kit promoted that "Jade Helm" nonsense. Remember that?

During the election, Kit heavily promoted all of that "Hillary is dying" nonsense. Remember that?

Kit was one of the main promulgators of the fake "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory. Sample headline, from just before the election:
Law Enforcement Begs World: Read Hillary Emails to Find Child Rape Evidence
Hillary linked to child sex ring, emails suggest
Yet after Alex Jones was forced to apologize under the threat of a lawsuit, Daniels -- in an unbelievably brazen lie -- pretended that Infowars never promoted the Pizzagate story.

Kit promoted the Great Yogurt Conspiracy. Remember that?  "...Twin Falls, Idaho – the city where a 5-year-old was raped by Syrian migrants in 2016." Didn't happen. There are no Syrian refugees in that city, and the "rape" turned out to be something else entirely. The whole story was a total lie, as I discuss in detail here. Kit never apologized for this exercise in bullshit.

Actually, I have more respect for bullshit than I have for Kit Daniels and Alex Jones.

Speaking of bullshit...
You find it on the left as well. Last night, Lawrence O'Donnell's broadcast revealed that the Mueller probe had no interest in Steve Bannon until the book Fire and Fury came out. Is my memory playing tricks on me? I seem to recall that "Bannon has flipped" stories popped up on various left-wing sites about fifteen minutes after the Mueller probe began.

Actually, it's a little hard to believe the claim that Mueller became intrigued by Bannon only very recently. We  have good reason to believe that Mueller is looking into the Peter W. Smith angle, and Smith claimed to have ties to Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.

Bannon's refusal to answer questions from congressional investigators pretty much disproves all of those "Bannon has flipped" stories. I don't know what carrot or what stick has compelled Bannon (who is otherwise nobody's serf) to maintain total loyalty to Trump, the kind of loyalty that brings to mind Asimov's three laws of robotics. I hope I live long enough to learn the full story, although I fear I may not.

Right now, I'm betting that Congress won't cite Bannon for contempt, although clearly his capacious ass would be in jail if he were a Democrat or even the "wrong" kind of Republican.

God DAMMIT. This continual double standard is infuriating.

Bill Palmer's explanation for Bannon's behavior is ridiculous. As I said, there's bullshit on both sides. On the left, it's patchy; if you slip in it, it's pretty easy to right yourself and keep walking. Infowars is Bullshit Mountain, which dominates Bullshit Island, which sits in the middle of the Bullshit Ocean -- and above it all, even the air has become a gaseous form of bullshit.
Comments:
The writer at Wonkette has made an offer to that Contain guy. If he decides to sue for defamation they'll chip in on legal costs. Don't know what's worse, Infowars or the chilling effect such a suit would have on robust speech. Sortta like the Mann v Styen lawsuit.
On the other event that precipitated the Kit lies, we need to figure a campaign to shame AR-15 buyers, to ostracize them from sane society. Trying to ban the sales of assault rifles won't work. What we need is a campaign that equates AR-15 ownership with child molestation or like that.
 
Mike, how about the Lysistrata gambit? No sex for assault rifle owners.
 
Did you hear the story about Bannon being questioned by Mueller for 20 hours over 2 days? And that he answered every question? That lends credence to the "Bannon has flipped" theory. I don't know the answer. But my guess is Bannon has flipped, and he either on his own or by instruction treated the House investigation as the farce it is and not cooperate as all it would do at this point is tip Mueller's hand. But I don't know. We are getting contradictory signals. Oh well. At least we have this:

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/373985-schiff-house-russia-probe-has-evidence-of-collusion-obstruction?__twitter_impression=true
 
US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly says that US officials intend to seek extradition of the Russian citizens, living in Russia, who have been charged with interfering in the 2016 US election.

He should go back to law school. No country extradites a person on a charge that they carried out an action that under that country's own jurisdiction is not a crime. I'm assuming here that interfering in a US election is not a crime under Russian law even it's not part of your work for the FSB, SVR, or GRU. If it is part of such work, it's obviously not a crime. If the target person is a citizen of the requesting country the country that receives the request may possibly bundle him on a plane and deport him - which is what the US authorities unsuccessfully tried to subject Bobby Fischer to in Japan - but they won't extradite him. (In Fischer's case, playing chess for money in Yugoslavia was not unlawful in Japan.) As for if the targeted person is a citizen of the country that has received the request, let's do ourselves a favour, shall we? The Mueller investigation looks no threat whatsoever to Trump.

It is utterly crap psywar for a government to whinge like crybabies about being bested by the other side's psywar effort.

I am sorry to say so, but Trump appears far securer in office that we would all like to believe.
 
To keep an international perspective...

The newspaper Bild is accusing Kevin Kuhnert, poster boy for the movement that is urging SPD members to reject a coalition with the CDU, of receiving help from Russia. Sound familiar? I don't think this has been reported in the English-language press yet.

Bild have published emails which supposedly incriminate Kuhnert. The "Jusos" - the SPD's youth wing that he leads - are calling them fake.

The importance of this is in connection with the ongoing vote among nearly 500,000 SPD members on whether or not to support a coalition with Angela Merkel's CDU and its sister party the Bavarian CSU. The vote is by post and its result is expected to be announced on 4 March. More than 20000 new people have joined the party in recent weeks, paying their three euros to sign up, probably so that they can vote "No".

Martin Schulz who resigned recently as SPD leader but looked set to become the new foreign minister in the event that the coalition happens, has now mysteriously rejected that office too. Both he and Angela Merkel have been giving the distinct impression of bobbing about like puppets on a string.

Merkel is in a far more precarious position than many believe. I don't mean on the scale of years. It's widely recognised that she won't be chancellor after 2022. I mean on the scale of days and weeks. She could be out very soon. When the Bundestag next votes for a chancellor - probably within the next two or three months - I don't expect it to be her.

Meanwhile, astute analysts will have noticed how the western media have been saying that Cape Town could be the "first" big city in the world to run out of water. Well something similar is happening with the reporting of political opinion polls in Germany. Commentators are salivating at the idea that support for the SPD is falling and falling, on its inexorable way to being overtaken by support for the far-right AfD. One recent poll put the gap at 1.5%. If there's a CDU-CSU-SPD coalition, the AfD will become the largest opposition party in the Bundestag regardless of what any polls say.

Then in Britain there's the story of Jeremy Corbyn and the Czechoslovak guy. This is a non-story insofar as numerous British politicians, journalists and academics at that time had regular lunches with those whom they knew to be working for East European intelligence services, often for the Czechoslovak STB. But why this is being said now and for what reason is of interest. Corbyn is not exactly a threat to anyone. Defence secretary Gavin Williamson could be draping himself in the "I denounce communist traitors" flag in readiness for a Tory leadership bid. Also known as "I've got rabies", that could go down like a gin and tonic with much of the Tory "Help for Heroes" demographic. More likely, he could be doing it in readiness for gathering a crew around himself during a leadership contest which can then be put at another candidate's disposal. That candidate could well be Jacob Rees-Mogg. Never mind that Williamson backed "Remain" during the Brexit referendum.

Whingeing about how western psywar guys, fresh from orchestrating "Springtime in Arabia" in what is now the distant past, are having their arses kicked all over the place by their Russian opposite numbers, seems to be a fad. Essentially they're saying "We're crap".
 
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