2/26/2018 by Lee Camp
I’ll be honest. I was very skeptical that a foreign internet firm could impact the votes of Americans by way of social media platforms. Considering everything that went on in the 2016 election, it kind of sounded like a gnat causing someone to lose a NASCAR race by splatting across the car’s windshield. I guess, technically, you could say the car did lose and the gnat did push against its forward progress, but anyone pointing to the gnat is an unadulterated idiot. …But I have to admit now I was wrong. A social media data mining company has openly had an impact on our elections and they even colluded with the Trump campaign. …But it’s not the one you think. (And this one has probably never celebrated each moment Dolph Lungren punched Sylvester Stallone in the face in Rocky IV.)
A Forbes article about this company says the firm has a perfect track record helping American candidates win (READ: manipulating US elections). And a Guardian article says, “The data analysis company uses a massive database of consumer and demographic information to profile and target voters…” (READ: This company abuses your social media information that you never wanted them to have in order to influence your voting patterns for or against candidates you might have hated.)
AND the company worked hand-in-tiny-hand with the Trump campaign to take aim at certain American voters in swing states. Here’s just one example of how it works: the New York Times stated over a year ago, “[The firm] targeted Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood with messages about the Clinton Foundation’s troubles in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.” Even though I’m not one to have any problem with someone pointing out how incredibly flawed Hillary Clinton is/was, I do think we should know and understand the dark influences on our elections. (And that’s why I’ve spoken so often about how our election system is more broken than a Jenga tower on the back seat of a public school bus in rural Alabama.)
The point is – this foreign company has worked exceedingly hard and specifically to manipulate American elections, and they’ve bragged about it in ways that are not just vague mentions of the possible influence of a troll farm that largely didn’t speak English. This is real. And I, for one, am sick and tired of these FUCKING RUSSIANS meddling in… Oh… Hold on… I misread part of the article I’m sourcing. …Let me rephrase that last piece:
I, for one, am sick and tired of the FUCKING BRITISH meddling in our elections!
Yep. The company is Cambridge Analytica.
As noted on its Wikipedia page, “Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a privately held company that combines data mining and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process. It was created in 2013 as an offshoot of its British parent company SCL Group to participate in American politics.” As the Washington Post reported in 2015, “Cambridge Analytica entered the U.S. market in 2012, according to its British chief executive Alexander Nix, and was involved in 44 U.S. races last year.” (And even though the Washington Post has been proven to put out fake news about “Russiagate,” the facts about Cambridge Analytica can be verified by more legit outlets.)
(We can’t do this without your help. Please share, comment, and become a sustaining member for as low as $5 a month. )
Back to the point – FORTY-FOUR ELECTIONS?! …So there you have it. The British meddled in our elections, colluded with the orange dictator’s campaign, and even bragged that they have a near 100% success rate! I look forward to the impending indictments of these British nationals. I can’t wait to see their perp walk with the crumbs of their spotted dick still stuck to their villainous rosy cheeks. I hope they’re treated okay in prison though. I guess it depends on whether it will be a British prison or an American one. Recently a British judge ruled that our prisons are tantamount to torture.
Well, let’s back up. Maybe we should consider Cambridge Analytica an American company because it is now partially owned by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who is one of Trump’s biggest campaign donors (and was voted “Most Likely To Fund The Presidential Campaign of A Megalomaniacal Freakshow” in high school).
But Cambridge Analytica was also very important in slanting the Brexit vote. So that means either it’s a British company helping to rig the U.S. presidential election and 44 other elections, or it’s an American company helping to rig British votes. You get to take your pick in this game of Foreign Meddling Bingo!
Either way, even past employees admit this company is involved in psychological warfare. Here’s an ex-employee, quoted in the Guardian, talking about the time before Robert Mercer bought into the company: “That was before we became this dark, dystopian data company that gave the world Trump… back when we were still just a psychological warfare firm… Psyops. Psychological operations – the same methods the military use to effect mass sentiment change. It’s what they mean by winning ‘hearts and minds’. We were just doing it to win elections in the kind of developing countries that don’t have many rules.”
He’s saying they were only involved in rigging the votes of unimportant countries – presumably important countries are those that are made up of people who a) are predominantly white and b) suffer from spasms and cold sweats when their phone battery dies.
Anyway, my point is not actually that Brits should be arrested. My point is that the recent Mueller indictments are utterly ridiculous EVEN IF we accept that a Russian troll farm owned by a hotdog vender actively tried to influence our election (which is a big “if”). I have gone through the indictments in detail, so I won’t do that here. But to heavily simplify what I’ve said previously, Robert Mueller has indicted 13 click-bait farmers in Russia for posting puppy memes. I’m not kidding. And apparently they tried to create rallies—some pro-Trump, some anti-Trump, some before the election, some after—most of them not attended by anyone. HOWEVER, the one seen below DID have seven people and a dog.
Several of the people indicted, according to the Washington Post, didn’t even work at the click-bait farm after 2014. And we’re supposed to believe these are the supervillains rigging our election? This HAS to be a prank. I swear at some point Ashton Kutcher will jump out from behind Mueller and go, “AAAAA!! GOTCHA!!”
By the way, this whole scenario is so insulting to Russia. The mighty Russian nation’s BEST attempt at influencing our election consists of a baker’s dozen of interns posting puppy photos from an office in St. Petersburg?! Jesus. Putin must be furious. That’s honestly the damnedest they can do at tricking millions of Americans into voting for Trump? In that case – Russia, may I advise you to stick to Sputnik missions because you, comrades, SUCK at rigging elections!
Meanwhile the U.S. efforts at manipulating elections consists of bombs and war crimes and fake identities and CIA-backed warlords pretending they’re populist candidates.
Half the guys ruling other countries right now went to Yale or some shit and roomed with a young George W. Bush (back when he was mere bad cheerleader instead of a mere bad president). Our military has poison darts if the wrong guy is about to win in another country, while the Russians apparently have a frowny emoji on Facebook?? We’ve got planes rigged to fall out of the sky with a Central American candidate in it, while Russia is apparently armed with naughty MySpace images??
They’re way outmatched. Our guy wins every time. We even rigged the Russian election and bragged about it on the cover of Time magazine with the title – “The Secret Story of How American Advisers Helped Yeltsin Win.”
Yet Russia’s supposed attempt at rigging our shit was literally a rally that included eight bumble-fuck Floridians with Trump posters and a dog. (And if you’ve seen the photo, the dog – let’s be honest – probably doesn’t even support Trump. He looks like more of a Jill Stein voter.) The Mueller indictments are a joke on every level. I despise Alex Jones, but he farted more Trump support after his evening pot-pie than this Russian clickbait farm put out on their BEST day. Sean Hannity’s acid reflux garnered more votes than these social media posts, 56% of which were after the election! And of the ones that appeared before the election, 25% were never seen by ANYONE. Of the entirety of the ads, only $6,700 was spent on them, which in terms of campaign ad dollars is – again – a gnat on a race car. …Well, the gnat might be a bit big. It’s closer to a bacterium on the gnat on the race car. This explains why Facebook’s VP of ads clearly stated that influencing the election was not the goal of these Russian Facebook ads.
That being said, at least these indictments are being put forward by someone with a rock-solid record of truthfulness and honor, someone who has NEVER lied to the American people… Oh… wait… I’m sorry. …I was thinking of someone else. …In fact, Robert Mueller was head of the FBI when he said in front of Congress that there was proof of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
He was one of the most important voices to support the claim that we now know was a pile of utter horse shit so large it’s still visible space to this day. In my opinion, NO ONE who put forward the WMD charade should ever be allowed in government or on television AGAIN. (Apparently my wishes don’t pull a lot of weight, seeing as Americans are still listening to everyone from Bill Kristol to Dick Cheney to __insert mainstream media host here___.)
But that’s Mueller’s resume – Lying about other countries to get us into war. That’s his talent. Some people are good at card tricks or juggling or putting together intricate yet delicate mosaics. But Robert Mueller’s talent lies in the ancient art of manipulating the U.S. into war. He’s not the first to do it and he won’t be the last, but he has given it his own style and panache.
Let me be clear – I understand the desire to impeach Trump. I’m in full support of impeaching Donald Trump even though I’m not sure Mike Pence would be any better. But if we’re going to impeach Trump, let’s do it for something REAL! Do it for Trump’s racism or his corporate corruption or his enriching himself endlessly with the presidency! Do it for his treatment of women or his idiocy or his lies! Do it for his continuing the bombing of innocent men, women, and children around the world! THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD REASONS TO IMPEACH THAT EGOMANIACAL CLOWN-FACED MAN-CHILD! But none of those reasons benefit our military industrial complex. None of those enrich the war profiteers effectively, and therefore they are a nonstarter.
(It seems you like the writing we do here. Become a sustaining member for as low as $5 a month. )
Former director of the CIA James Woolsey added something very interesting to foreign meddling debate the other day.
He was asked on Fox News whether the US has ever meddled in the elections of other countries, and he said, “Oh probably. Back in the 1940’s.”
PROBABLY?! That’s like asking the Secretary of Defense, “Have we ever bombed another country?” And him going, “It’s likely. Ummmmm, let me check my papers here…”
I also enjoy Woolsey’s attempted pivot to the 1940s. That’s like asking a pride of lions if they’ve ever harmed other animals, and them responding, “Uh, probably… back in the 1940s I think we ate a baby giraffe, maybe? It’s too far back to remember for sure. Please stop asking these questions.”
Then, when the anchor presses Woolsey on whether we continue to meddle in the elections of other countries, he laughs nervously, makes a bizarre “num num num” noise (which may be some sort of software malfunction) and then responds, “But it’s only for a very good cause.”
OF COURSE WE’RE MEDDLING IN ELECTIONS! According to a study out of Carnegie Mellon University, “The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000…” And, “That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile.” But have no fear, we were only doing it for a very good cause. You know us – Every bomb we drop, every bullet we shoot, we’ll be helping you. I believe that was a song by Sting. We should replace the Star Spangled Banner with it.
I seem to recall some election-meddling that didn’t really help people too much. Assassinations all over the map. Backing military coups. Helping create genocides in places like Indonesia. In fact, there is growing evidence we may be preparing for military action against Venezuela as their election nears. In light of our endless need to meddle in the democratic elections of every country, when political philosophy heavyweight Noam Chomsky was asked about this topic, he said, “Most of the World is just collapsing in laughter on claims that Russia intervened in the U.S. election.” Well, I’m glad we could provide some entertainment for the rest of the world.
Look, even though I have a comedy show at RT America, I don’t know Russia. I’m an American in America who covers American news and has never been told what to say or not to say. No one has ever censored my material, and I certainly did not support Trump (or Clinton) during the election. I don’t know what the Russian government wants or doesn’t want. …BUT I can read. And I know that Mueller, in his attempt to act like he’s got something, has indicted a fucking clickbait farm. Now, Russia’s left looking like they have NO IDEA how to effectively rig an election. I feel bad for them. If we believe Mueller’s claim, Russia was trying to look tough and they ended up looking like they have 1/1,000th the power of a single Anonymous hacker. Meanwhile, we Americans act like we’re facing Dr. Strangelove with his finger on the button. This is all a McCarthyist wet dream, a red scare red herring bucket of shit.
I was 22 when America invaded Iraq, and I fell for the WMD lie, as did most of America. I watched comedian Janeane Garofalo get trashed and publicly flogged every day for having the nerve to be one of the few on television speaking out against the insanity.
If we had listened to her, a million Iraqis and thousands of U.S. troops would be alive right now. I’m not fucking falling for it again. I’m not going to be a useful idiot for the war profiteers.
(Our reporting is being suppressed by Facebook, Google, and YouTube. But we keep fighting thanks to heroes like you becoming sustaining members for as low as $5 a month – the same cost as a bag of movie popcorn. One bag of popcorn per month. You can also give one-time donations or sign up for the free email newsletter in the sidebar to the right. )