A 37-page indictment issued by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team alleges Russian interference in the 2016 election was supposedly conducted by 13 Russian spies through the Internet Research Agency LLC, a state-sponsored troll factory in St. Petersburg – “Putin’s election hackers.” Mueller’s indictment looks as though it were written by the same writer of the Steele Dossier who utilized a fifth-grade writing style and to produce the document.
Did Mueller forget that most of the information in Mueller’s indictment had already been published last October in an article by a Russian business magazine, RBC?
In the article entitled “How the ‘troll factory’ worked the U.S. elections,” journalists Polina Rusyaeva and Andrey Zakharov offered a complete picture of how the “American department” of the Internet Research Agency LLC used Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to inflame tensions ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The two authors clearly described the staffing structure and revealed details about its budget and salaries.
Andrey Zakharov gave a recent interview where he made the following remarks about the Mueller indictments:
“Of all the people who are mentioned there, only some people were the real top managers of the troll factory. The other staff mentioned are very incidental. I mean, it seems like they put down all the names they could get. Some were people who worked there in 2014, but most of these guys didn’t work for the troll factory for a long time. They didn’t even work there during the elections. Like Krylova, she didn’t work there then.” [Aleksandra Krylova is one of the two employees who allegedly traveled to the United States in 2014.]
“It looks like they just took some employees from the American department whose names they could get.”
“Russian media has been covering the troll factory since 2013, long before the big investigation in the New York Times Magazine — and by the way, most of the things in that were just taken from my colleagues.
Complete article on the Internet Research Agency LLC from the New York Times:
“What we saw was that they were trying to spread tension in the society, talking about problems people had with black people, Islam and so on. They organized anti-Trump rallies also. Yes, they were active against Hillary Clinton, but they were not always pro-Trump. They were also active after the election. The story about the Black Fist movement — fake movement self-defense classes for black people — they started this story in 2017, after Trump was elected.”
“They are proud of their work. For them it was really fun: 90 people sitting in St. Petersburg, organizing groups with thousands and thousands of likes. It was a very successful social media marketing campaign.”
“A lot of Russian conservatives were proud. They said: “Look at what Russians can do! Only 90 people with $2 million made America scared! We are strong!” And for conservative people here, they see that Americans have CNN, Radio Free Europe, etc., that cover Russia. They say, “Why can’t we establish groups in America and have our own influence?” That’s how conservative people think here. They think this was normal.”
Zuckerberg’s a Russian
Facebook vice president of advertising Rob Goldman has recently slammed the media for what he said was misleading coverage of Russia’s meddling in American politics. Somehow, $100,000.00 in inconsequential ads from 470 “Russian” accounts placed on Facebook was the whole “Russian Election Meddling.”
The ads listed in Mueller’s indictments are harmless and ineffectual. They had nothing to do with swaying anyone during the election. A small group of trolls alleging to be from Russia are trolling the Internet to create chaos and discord. The Russian are coming, the Russians are coming! The collective efforts of these ads were sophomoric, poorly designed, and seemingly quite random. As Rob Goldman says:
“Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal. The majority of the Russian “ad spend” happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main stream media narrative of Trump and the election.”
Analysts are still trying to figure out the reach and impact of the Kremlin’s ad buy effort. But even with the right user data, $100,000 buys little influence on Facebook.
At the Defense One Summit last November, former GEC director Michael Lumpkin described how the Global Engagement Center was using the data it received as a Facebook advertiser to maximize the effectiveness of its own targeted appeals.
“Using Facebook ads, I can go within Facebook, I can go grab an audience, I can pick Country X, I need age group 13 to 34, I need people who have liked – whether it’s Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi or any other set – I can shoot and hit them directly with messaging,” Lumpkin said. He emphasized that with the right data, effective message targeting could be done for “pennies a click.”
Facebook can’t sell personally identifiable information directly to advertisers. But ad buyers can use the vast amount of data Facebook collects on its users to target their ads extremely precisely. Recent research from Christoph Aymanns, Jakob Foerster, and Co-Pierre Georg shows that a troll farm or influence operator — they call such actors “adversaries” — can use just a small amount of personal information about a person’s belief system and their social structure to greatly increase the likelihood that an individual will accept what they are being told.
As Aymann’s, Foerster’s and Georg’s work shows, an ad-buyer can easily use that sort of precision to target messages to individuals more likely to believe them.
In his talk at the Defense One Summit, Lumpkin said that more information for better targeting was key to the Global Engagement Center’s endeavors. “If I had more ability to work with that [personally identifiable information] and had access…I could do more targeting, more definitively, to make sure I could hit the right message to the right audience at the right time”, Lumpkin was quoted as saying.
The 2017 NDAA allows the GEC some leeway around privacy restrictions, so long as there is clear oversight in place in how the GEC uses the personal information that it obtains. The law also specifies what the GEC can do with that personal information — it can, for example, use it to improve targeted campaigns and research the data analysis of foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts and communications related to public diplomacy efforts.
The True Russian Election Meddlers – The Global Engagement Center
When Obama established the Global Engagement Center (GEC), the Anonymous Patriots called it the Ministry of Truth because we knew it would be used to spread lies. Around $60 million was spent during 2016 to completely monitor, target, and attack “foreign state and non-state propaganda”, especially propaganda coming from Russia.
In actual fact, the GEC created propaganda exactly like the “Russian Meddling” that Mueller’s indictment references. The GEC was Hillary’s propaganda machine with all the power of the NSA, DoD, BBG, CIA, and all the cyberwarfare tools described in the Vault 7 Wikileaks.
The GEC did exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do and in the end, Mueller blamed the GEC work on 13 Russian trolls.
John Kerry established the Global Engagement Center (GEC) in April 2016 pursuant to Obama’s Executive Order 13721.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), defines the GEC’s mission as being to “lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.”
The NDAA expanded the GEC’s mission to include countering the adverse effects of state-sponsored propaganda and disinformation.
The GEC conducts research on target audiences and utilizes data science techniques to measure the effectiveness of the efforts. The GEC and its partners have established programming across multiple platforms, including social media, satellite television, radio, film, and print. These platforms allow the GEC to develop and disseminate messaging on effective themes determined by the current administration.
The Obama administration established the GEC to replace the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. The GEC’s toolbox includes “various outreach efforts, including highly targeted ad buys on Facebook and using proactively advanced fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests.”
The GEC’s anti-propaganda mission rose to national attention when it was revealed that the “Kremlin” (Internet Research Agency LLC) had purchased Facebook ads worth $100,000 in the runup to the 2016 election. The ads “appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.
See for yourself. Here is the official website for America’s Ministry of Truth: the Global Engagement Center.
The Global Engagement Center – Mueller’s Russian Spies
Basically, the GEC is allowed to fund organizations that will be able to counter state-based (Russia) and non-stated based propaganda with more propaganda, the big difference being that it will be the “right kind” of propaganda produced by the GEC.
As you can see, the functions of the Global Engagement Center morphed significantly from March 2016 to December 2016, becoming a state-based propaganda/anti-propaganda tool of Washington and the Hillary campaign rather than a tool that was originally designed to counter international terrorism for the global good.
The Global Engagement Center was originally designed to be an arm of the Department of State. It is interesting to find that such a significant change in its mandate is nestled deeply within the pages of a bill that authorizes the spending of $611.2 billion for the Department of Defense, its Overseas Contingency Operations and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.
In case you were curious, for fiscal 2015, the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) had a budget of approximately $6 million. This grew to $60 million in fiscal 2016 when the CSCC was replaced with the GEC. Under the most recent iterations in Section 1287, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to transfer up to $60 million in each of fiscal 2017 and 2018.
The GEC has a lifespan of 8 years after the Act is signed into law (2024). While this is but a tiny fraction of the overall $611.2 billion authorized in S.2943, it is interesting to see how, in light of the so-called “Russian election meddling scandal of 2016”, the budget for the Global Engagement Center has risen in lock step with its expanded mandate to help the global village decide what is Russian propaganda and what is the “real truth.”
Obama’s misuse of the GEC money and the politicization of the “so-called” Russian meddling in the presidential election is consistent with Mueller’s efforts to continue the “Investigation to Impeach” Trump by adding the disinformation spread by the GEC. It is likely that the entire Mueller indictment is fiction and was based upon the work of Michael Lumpkin and his band of cyberwarfare experts who faked Russian meddling in the very agency that was supposed to be protecting us from the Russians. The Russians are coming and Trump is riding shotgun with Putin! Or so the GEC lead us to believe.
Why is Michael Lumpkin’s pictured in front of an SES flag for his official DoD GEC picture?
Listen to Thomas explain this report below: