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Active Measures, Disinfo, Propaganda

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They took time out of their initiative to all get women assigned to them by the government to take on another conspiracy today? Busy guys. 

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FBI agents armed with a court order have seized control of a key server in the Kremlin’s global botnet of 500,000 hacked routers, The Daily Beast has learned. The move positions the bureau to build a comprehensive list of victims of the attack, and short-circuits Moscow’s ability to reinfect its targets. 

The FBI counter-operation goes after  “VPN Filter,” a piece of sophisticated malware linked to the same Russian hacking group, known as Fancy Bear, that breached the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaignduring the 2016 election. On Wednesday security researchers at Cisco and Symantec separately provided new details on the malware, which has turned up in 54 countries including the United States.

VPN Filter uses known vulnerabilities to infect home office routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, and TP-Link. Once in place, the malware reports back to a command-and-control infrastructure that can install purpose-built plug-ins, according to the researchers. One plug-in lets the hackers eavesdrop on the victim’s Internet traffic to steal website credentials; another targets a protocol used in industrial control networks, such as those in the electric grid. A third lets the attacker cripple any or all of the infected devices at will.

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1 hour ago, triplehorn said:

^^^^^^

 

 

Rebooting the device just flushes the stage 2 malware. So far there hasn't been any information released on the stage 1 deployment. It's probable that another command and control center has already been stood up and the devices will be redirected to the new malicious C&C location. Which is good but it's temporary. This is an interesting situation because the FBI usually sits on these types of things and just gathers information. By rebooting and blowing away stage 2/3 malware they lose a lot of forensic information. This is unlike the FBI. It's possible there was a planned attack that is being disrupted which pushed them into mitigation mode.

Anyways, people need to do more than just reboot. The device should be factory reset, update the firmware and change all passwords (don't reuse the original passwords) to get rid of stage 1 malware. It's also possible the payload came from an infected system on the network. Unfortunately, these are SOHO systems so it's going to be up to people like your uncle Jack to figure it out themselves.

 

 

 

 

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I went to pick up Watts book yesterday at my local bookstore and they didn’t have it for some reason.  Ordered off amazon today.

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20 minutes ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

I went to pick up Watts book yesterday at my local bookstore and they didn’t have it for some reason.  Ordered off amazon today.

I need to get it. He's a sharp dude. It's a shame he doesn't get more coverage. 

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35 minutes ago, Pods said:

 

The fucking Trump movement is part of a grand global assault on democracy itself, and this will "make america great again".

What a bunch of grotesquely stupid people these Trumpians are. Total stooges for fascism.

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Hillary was right when she said the issue in this election was democracy itself.

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37 minutes ago, R2D2 said:

The fucking Trump movement is part of a grand global assault on democracy itself, and this will "make america great again".

What a bunch of grotesquely stupid people these Trumpians are. Total stooges for fascism.

I think it's a lot more complicated than "this is a global attack on democracy". The right wing populist movements didn't occur in a vacuum. I think in part, this is a reaction to poor economic conditions and the rise of globalism. Economic globalism creates more international competition which creates winners and losers. It also creates a lot of movement of people across the various borders. When a group of people find themselves on the economic losing side, especially when it benefits foreigners a natural reaction is to turn to one's tribal instincts. These conditions whet the appetite for populist nationalism.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, F250 said:

I think it's a lot more complicated than "this is a global attack on democracy". The right wing populist movements didn't occur in a vacuum. I think in part, this is a reaction to poor economic conditions and the rise of globalism. Economic globalism creates more international competition which creates winners and losers. It also creates a lot of movement of people across the various borders. When a group of people find themselves on the economic losing side, especially when it benefits foreigners a natural reaction is to turn to one's tribal instincts. These conditions whet the appetite for populist nationalism.

 

 

The world is moving way too fast for everyone to keep up and those falling behind are revolting.

how I see it.

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15 minutes ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

The world is moving way too fast for everyone to keep up and those falling behind are revolting.

how I see it.

Yeah, the world has been moving in the direction I prefer and it's been good for me and my family. I would like to keep it that way. We just need to figure out how to help these people adjust.

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I’m pro globalization too because we are in the best position to set the rules and it’s inevitable but I don’t want the cost of an interconnected world to be democracy and human rights.

That’s the delimma we’re dealing with when all these bad foreign actors inject their influence on our political processes virtually unchallenged.  They want to set the rules too.

Fuck that.

Edited by Hugo Stiglitz

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22 hours ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

The world is moving way too fast for everyone to keep up and those falling behind are revolting.

how I see it.

haves v have nots

anywheres v somewheres

still the best summary i have heard on the world we currently are living in

the somewheres hate anything from the anywheres - globalism, liberalism, racial equality, education, science and other things anywheres embrace. and now you can also toss capitalism into what anywheres value more than somewheres. 

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The thing is...this time, there are a lot of haves that have joined in the backlash for emotional reasons not based in self interest.  It’s different.

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The Clint Watts book is good.  There’s a ton of stuff in there about Islamic extremist groups and how they utilized social media/internet.

Also Russians.

 

161E473E-BC13-4C25-8433-FC18AEB2F50A_zps

 

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Here's some really good advice on how to respond to Active Measures, domestic and foreign.

Don't aim your response directly back at the troll/liar, instead respond to the troll/liar's intended audience and positively shape the conversation. Make sure they know the troll is lying, but pick your battles, because information overload is real and will cause others to tune out, unable to discern truth from fiction.

 

 

 

Edited by Pods

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6 minutes ago, Pods said:

Here's some really good advice on how to respond to Active Measures, domestic and foreign. Don't aim your response directly back at the troll/liar, instead respond to the troll/liar's intended audience and make sure they know the troll is lying. 

 

Idk. Maybe this works on Twitter. I don’t use twitter. It seems she may be talking about large scale anti-propaganda efforts. Like something a company like Yeti might do to combat the NRA and right wing trolls. 

I routinely engage on reddit folks that are apparent right wing trolls. Reddit allows a discourse with the troll and for viewers to see the conversation. I usually specifically identify the fallacy or falsehood and then provide evidence supporting whatever is appropriate. If it’s obvious, I’ll also point out their motives, e.g., push a wedge between two groups, identity politics. Hopefully this allows any random viewer to understand what the troll is doing.

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The best way to deal with trolls is to either not respond or challenge them.

Challenge them with questions like, "Why would someone disagree with your assessment and why?" 

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Just now, GW Hayduke said:

Idk. Maybe this works on Twitter. I don’t use twitter. It seems she may be talking about large scale anti-propaganda efforts. Like something a company like Yeti might do to combat the NRA and right wing trolls. 

I routinely engage on reddit folks that are apparent right wing trolls. Reddit allows a discourse with the troll and for viewers to see the conversation. I usually specifically identify the fallacy or falsehood and then provide evidence supporting whatever is appropriate. If it’s obvious, I’ll also point out their motives, e.g., push a wedge between two groups, identity politics. Hopefully this allows any random viewer to understand what the troll is doing.

If it's immediately after the troll, that can work. If it's too complicated, people tune out. If it's too long after the fact, people tune out. That's the problem, this shit works. Either way, you are engaging the troll and legitimizing his argument to other readers. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't. 

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8 minutes ago, Pods said:

If it's immediately after the troll, that can work. If it's too complicated, people tune out. If it's too long after the fact, people tune out. That's the problem, this shit works. Either way, you are engaging the troll and legitimizing his argument to other readers. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't. 

It depends how you do it. Debunking a trolls lies, calling out his fallacies, and describing motives isn’t giving him legitimacy. Obviously if you get into the mud and let the conversation get bogged down then yeah, a reader will tune out. However ignoring a troll and letting another user bite is pretty much letting the troll do whatever he’s intending. 

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30 minutes ago, triplehorn said:

Always keep in mind these active measures work both sides to sow division and polarization:

 

 

 

Bernie isn’t the problem, it’s his uncompromising followers that are.  

Much like the uncompromising Trumpkins with Trump.  

Bernie and Trump demagogue too much and make unrealistic promises... except Bernie actually has some good ideas and knowledge to back it up.

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1 hour ago, GW Hayduke said:

It depends how you do it. Debunking a trolls lies, calling out his fallacies, and describing motives isn’t giving him legitimacy. Obviously if you get into the mud and let the conversation get bogged down then yeah, a reader will tune out. However ignoring a troll and letting another user bite is pretty much letting the troll do whatever he’s intending. 

I'm definitely not saying to ignore what a troll says. Research also shows that if you don't challenge EVERY lie, the unchallenged ones build up and become reality for partially informed observers. The link Caroline O (she's a social behavior scientist) posted above shows that humans aren't good from distinguishing fact from fiction when both viewpoints are repeated and the original event happened in the past. The more you engage these ludicrous viewpoints, the more people read about those viewpoints and normalize them at least somewhat. It's really damned if you do, damned if you don't, which is why Active Measures is so effective on social media. 

I think Reddit works differently from here. It's so large, you don't recognize a lot of the posters. There is somewhat equal value in all view points that have high karma and that can easily be manipulated. Here, we can recognize the trolls and their patterns. The troll's pattern of behavior is by far the most useful thing to point out, because then others will also see the same visual cues and detect the troll if they didn't before. 

When a troll posts, anyone that directly engages him gets sucked into a time sink of intellectual dishonesty and just asking questions. It is absolutely what the troll wants.

It's far better to expose how the troll lies, show they are a known liar and move on. Rebut his ridiculous statements, but not to him. Rebut them to the audience the troll is intending to influence. Realize you will never be able to shame or convince the troll. The goal is to remind the rest of society that the troll's behavior is not okay and it is not normal. 

Edited by Pods

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1 hour ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

 

Bernie isn’t the problem, it’s his uncompromising followers that are.  

Much like the uncompromising Trumpkins with Trump.  

Bernie and Trump demagogue too much and make unrealistic promises... except Bernie actually has some good ideas and knowledge to back it up.

He does, he's also a legit part of the problem. At a minimum, Bernie is far too soft on Russia. He voted against the most recent Russia sanctions and the Magnitsky Act. Bernie is clearly being used as a wedge by Russia and was receiving support from Russian social media manipulation. Bernie's incredibly questionable Russia votes are fishy as hell in that context. 

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39 minutes ago, Pods said:

I'm definitely not saying to ignore what a troll says. Research also shows that if you don't challenge EVERY lie, the unchallenged ones build up and become reality for partially informed observers. The link Caroline O (she's a social behavior scientist) posted above shows that humans aren't good from distinguishing fact from fiction when both viewpoints are repeated and the original event happened in the past. The more you engage these ludicrous viewpoints, the more people read about those viewpoints and normalize them at least somewhat. It's really damned if you do, damned if you don't, which is why Active Measures is so effective on social media. 

I think Reddit works differently from here. It's so large, you don't recognize a lot of the posters. There is somewhat equal value in all view points that have high karma and that can easily be manipulated. Here, we can recognize the trolls and their patterns. The troll's pattern of behavior is by far the most useful thing to point out, because then others will also see the same visual cues and detect the troll if they didn't before. 

When a troll posts, anyone that directly engages him gets sucked into a time sink of intellectual dishonesty and just asking questions. It is absolutely what the troll wants.

It's far better to expose how the troll lies, show they are a known liar and move on. Rebut his ridiculous statements, but not to him. Rebut them to the audience the troll is intending to influence. Realize you will never be able to shame or convince the troll. The goal is to remind the rest of society that the troll's behavior is not okay and it is not normal. 

I don’t think she is referring to how to deal with a troll. I think she is referring to how to deal with larger scale propaganda, I.e, army of trolls using a mix of media to push a narrative or to sow discord. She is saying don’t plan to confront each and every instance when one of their trolls pops up. She is saying develop a strategy to target the audience, e.g., deveolpe your own organized media blitz to push a counter narrative or to address the discord. 

I argue that the best way to deal with a troll that is being dishonest, is to point out the dishonesty. Pointing out their dishonesty, fallacy, and purpose isn’t what the troll wants. Most of the time, the troll wants you to be triggered and to emotionally respond with an extreme position. I’m agreeing with your position on exposing the troll. I think you can absolutely shame a troll, but you are right you can’t change his mind.

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2 minutes ago, GW Hayduke said:

I don’t think she is referring to how to deal with a troll. I think she is referring to how to deal with larger scale propaganda, I.e, army of trolls using a mix of media to push a narrative or to sow discord. She is saying don’t plan to confront each and every instance when one of their trolls pops up. She is saying develop a strategy to target the audience, e.g., deveolpe your own organized media blitz to push a counter narrative or to address the discord. 

I argue that the best way to deal with a troll that is being dishonest, is to point out the dishonesty. Pointing out their dishonesty, fallacy, and purpose isn’t what the troll wants. Most of the time, the troll wants you to be triggered and to emotionally respond with an extreme position. I’m agreeing with your position on exposing the troll. I think you can absolutely shame a troll, but you are right you can’t change his mind.

I'm pretty sure she's referring to both. Have a plan in the aggregate and apply it to specific instances. 

Second paragraph, I think we agree far more more than disagree on it. Point out their lies and also their methodology, so others start to recognize their pattern of lying. Shame is the perfect thing for a troll. You won't make the troll actually feel shame, but it's a good reminder for everyone else that the troll's behavior shouldn't be normalized. 

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54 minutes ago, GW Hayduke said:

I don’t think she is referring to how to deal with a troll. I think she is referring to how to deal with larger scale propaganda, I.e, army of trolls using a mix of media to push a narrative or to sow discord. She is saying don’t plan to confront each and every instance when one of their trolls pops up. She is saying develop a strategy to target the audience, e.g., deveolpe your own organized media blitz to push a counter narrative or to address the discord. 

I argue that the best way to deal with a troll that is being dishonest, is to point out the dishonesty. Pointing out their dishonesty, fallacy, and purpose isn’t what the troll wants. Most of the time, the troll wants you to be triggered and to emotionally respond with an extreme position. I’m agreeing with your position on exposing the troll. I think you can absolutely shame a troll, but you are right you can’t change his mind.

Let me know when you find a troll who isn't being dishonest. The troll wants you to address his bullshit in order to derail the conversation. You decide you're going to step up and put this fool in his place because his ideas are so ridiculous. You got caught in the trap. You got fooled into an argument over stupid irrelevant bullshit like you're trying to teach a toddler how to be an executive. You're feeding the yippy dog at the table and preventing the adults from having a conversation. 

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5 minutes ago, WhatTheBuck said:

Let me know when you find a troll who isn't being dishonest. The troll wants you to address his bullshit in order to derail the conversation. You decide you're going to step up and put this fool in his place because his ideas are so ridiculous. You got caught in the trap. You got fooled into an argument over stupid irrelevant bullshit like you're trying to teach a toddler how to be an executive. You're feeding the yippy dog at the table and preventing the adults from having a conversation. 

There isn’t one troll, and not all trolls are the same. The trolls I am talking about either push false information or try to trigger discord.

We shouldn’t be scared of them. And ignoring them works only if they are obviously stupid, like the guy “sugar.” But the trolling I’m talking about is more sophisticated. I suspect some is Russian.

Ignoring sophisticated trolling on reddit helps no one and just allows the disinformation campaign continue IMO. 

The trolls that drop false or dishonest information. Simply describe it’s falseness/dishonesty and provide accurate information with sources. Don’t just ignore and leave only the false info. 

The trolls that try to sow discord.  That troll wants to trigger an emotional response and get you (or someone else) to take any extreme position. Don’t give him that but instead, point out to everyone what exactly the troll is doing.

Subreddit r/texas gets a lot of organized sophisitcated trolling. They show up whenever something big happens, like after a mass shooting. Also, they were there in force when the CATO institute came out with a study showing how immigrants (including illegal immigrants) have much lower rates of criminal activity when compared to native born. 

Im not sure who you are talking about when you say “you got caught in a trap” or “you got fooled.”

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Here is an example of a thread on r/texas that was blasted with a large amount of questionable users, some I would definitely consider right-wing trolls. I'm able to identify some of them  based on a reddit extension I have that shows me the amount of karma folks have from certain trollish subs, like r/the_donald.

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I haven't kept up with this thread in a while.  I'm laughing at you GW.  You think you are a truth warrior fighting the good fight against right wing trolls?  lulz.  You need to look in a mirror.  You have repeatedly attempted to derail a thread on mass (school) shootings to push your gun control agenda.  You have engaged in the very behaviors that you are railing about here.

Pogo_-_Earth_Day_1971_poster.jpg

~~~

Quote

...

STENGEL: So I’ll—you will be the last question, but I just want to weigh in on that for one second. So there’s another word for master narratives. It’s called history.

Basically every country creates their own narrative story and, you know, my old job at the State Department was what people used to joke as the chief propagandist job. We haven’t talked about propaganda. Propaganda—I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population, and I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful. And this idea of a news cartel—I mean, I was editor of Time in 2012, during that election, and I remember—you know, you were competing against cartels and everybody. I remember being on a panel with the then-editor of The New York Times, who said, it’s really hard to break through these days. This is the editor of The New York Times saying it’s hard to break through. I almost—I wanted to jump off the platform—like, what’s it like for the rest of everybody? So, I mean, there’s no—I mean, there are cartels, but the cartels don’t have hegemony like they used to.

...

 

https://www.cfr.org/event/political-disruptions-combating-disinformation-and-fake-news

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59 minutes ago, bernorange said:

I haven't kept up with this thread in a while.  I'm laughing at you GW.  You think you are a truth warrior fighting the good fight against right wing trolls?  lulz.  You need to look in a mirror.  You have repeatedly attempted to derail a thread on mass (school) shootings to push your gun control agenda.  You have engaged in the very behaviors that you are railing about here.

Pogo_-_Earth_Day_1971_poster.jpg

~~~

 

https://www.cfr.org/event/political-disruptions-combating-disinformation-and-fake-news

There are active disinformation campaigns going on. Most have accepted that as reality. The purpose of those campaigns is to sow discord and push sides further away, tribalism, identity politics, culture war. One strategy is replacing logic/science with feelings/emotions. 

The right has increasingly become the side that is anti-science, anti-government, anti-education. The right has replaced those things with “feelings,” “emotions,” and “identity” (this is why the right have become snowflakes over the last few years). We see it with global warming, gun control, football kneelers, immigration. The examples are many.  Disinformation campaigns have pushed the right further into this place.

However, your difficulty in maintaining a mature conversation/debate on firearms may be the result of this recent emotional/anti-science phenomenon being pushed by active propaganda or it may just be who you have always been.

For example, calling “ad hominem” when someone provides counter evidence or “strawman” when someone attempts to get you to take a clear position, is classic right-wing response grounded in feelings/emotions/anti-science.

My recommendation is to reflect back on where the sensitivity and feelings come from and ponder whether it may be the result of this culture war, tribalism, identity politics being pushed into or population.

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You presume to lecture me on bias while ignoring your own filters.  You have no self awareness.

I contributed plenty of mature conversation to the discussion.  You either didn't see it or ignored it (it didn't fit your agenda) .  I got tired of your "active measures" in the mass shootings thread and called you out on your bullshit attempts to hijack the narrative to push your agenda.

Your examples are not accurate descriptions of what occurred.  Is it perspective or propaganda?  This is the danger with labels and witch hunts. 

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15 minutes ago, bernorange said:

You presume to lecture me on bias while ignoring your own filters.  You have no self awareness.

I contributed plenty of mature conversation to the discussion.  You either didn't see it or ignored it (it didn't fit your agenda) .  I got tired of your "active measures" in the mass shootings thread and called you out on your bullshit attempts to hijack the narrative to push your agenda.

Your examples are not accurate descriptions of what occurred.  Is it perspective or propaganda?  This is the danger with labels and witch hunts. 

You are free to provide examples of the filters, active measures, or propaganda that you mention. I’m curious. 

I would add that I have had many long, healthy debates on issues surrounding firearms. Most healthy debates provide both sides with new perspectives and information to ponder. They usually end up with disagreeing on values, e.g., Liberty/freedom from low regulations outweigh the fact that the US’s gun violence is on par with the third world, or agreeing that a particular topic needs further research. 

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As someone that has been looking at active measures closely over the last year, I can say this podcast is the most informative content I’ve heard or read yet.  

https://lawfareblog.com/lawfare-podcast-clint-watts-messing-enemy

It’s even more informative than Watt’s book itself which I’ve read.  Lot’s of good stuff in there including Jade Helm 15 as being the flashpoint that really freaked Watts out as far as the power of Russian influence operations.

I can’t recommend this enough.

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Watts always has good things to say. I wish the CIA or FBI would give him a large task force and big budget.

He speaks of “awareness” as an important method to combat. I think that is important. However, considering the difficulties in parsing witting and unwitting actors and the right’s acceptance of these methods, we are going to need a much stronger approach IMO.

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3 minutes ago, GW Hayduke said:

Watts always has good things to say. I wish the CIA or FBI would give him a large task force and big budget.

All of Watt’s work on this was done outside of the government as a HOBBY. 

In his book he bemoans the bureaucracy and the ineptitude of the work of many defense contractors.  

 He feels, as I do, that he can be much more effective outside of the government structures at combating the problem because he has autonomy.

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11 minutes ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

All of Watt’s work on this was done outside of the government as a HOBBY. 

In his book he bemoans the bureaucracy and the ineptitude of the work of many defense contractors.  

 He feels, as I do, that he can be much more effective outside of the government structures at combating the problem because he has autonomy.

You might be right. Though the CIA is supposed to take the lead on combatting these types of foreign threats so they need to have some large role to go along with their large availability of resources. If the CIA isn’t flexible enough to monitor and divulge Russian activities, then they need more flexibility. Though it is always possible, since the CIA doesn’t really have a public face, that Watts is actually acting as the CIA’s public mouthpiece on this. 

Dealing with the right’s acceptance of these methods and the difficulties in parsing witting and unwitting actors is going to require some huge some huge solutions imo.

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5 hours ago, GW Hayduke said:

You might be right. Though the CIA is supposed to take the lead on combatting these types of foreign threats so they need to have some large role to go along with their large availability of resources. If the CIA isn’t flexible enough to monitor and divulge Russian activities, then they need more flexibility. Though it is always possible, since the CIA doesn’t really have a public face, that Watts is actually acting as the CIA’s public mouthpiece on this. 

Dealing with the right’s acceptance of these methods and the difficulties in parsing witting and unwitting actors is going to require some huge some huge solutions imo.

Honestly, we should probably follow Europe’s lead in this area.  They are way ahead of anything the US government is doing.

 

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