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Report: Former Gen. Stanley McChrystal helping Dems combat Republicans online

Report: Former Gen. Stanley McChrystal helping Dems combat Republicans online

WaPo: McChrystal advising group “planning to deploy technology originally developed to counter Islamic State propaganda in service of a domestic political goal – to combat online efforts to promote President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic”

https://youtu.be/9VCKxHyMMZg

We know that an enormous amount of time, energy, and money are being funneled into a massive array of leftist groups with the sole purpose being to take down President Trump and/or to ensure he loses in November.

One of the more troubling such efforts being reported involves software allegedly funded by the U.S. taxpayer to track and defeat ISIS.  This software is being used by a Democrat group to ensure Trump’s coronavirus messaging gets disappeared and/or refuted by paid “influencers” online.

It should be noted that the group’s claims of using taxpayer-funded software have been disputed by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Whether or not the group is padding its resume in terms of the origins of the software and who paid for it, the details of this Democrat group’s anti-Trump online activities are alarming.

These activities reportedly include former General Stanley McChrystal acting as an advisor on how best to deploy the anti-terrorist software against Trump supporters online, boosting leftist narratives that run counter to Trump’s, and paying armies of online trolls to counter anything related to the Wuhan coronavirus that is pro-Trump.

The Washington Post reports (archive link here):

A new Democratic-aligned political action committee advised by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, is planning to deploy technology originally developed to counter Islamic State propaganda in service of a domestic political goal – to combat online efforts to promote President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group, Defeat Disinfo, will use artificial intelligence and network analysis to map discussion of the president’s claims on social media. It will seek to intervene by identifying the most popular counter-narratives and boosting them through a network of more than 3.4 million influencers across the country – in some cases paying users with large followings to take sides against the president.

Democrats are worried that Trump’s support has not collapsed despite their and their media cohorts’ constant efforts, and they seek to quash his support online, hoping to destroy his base support, poll numbers, and his chances for reelection.

WaPo continues:

The initiative reflects fears within the Democratic Party that Trump’s unwavering digital army may help sustain him through the pandemic, as it has through past controversies, even as the economy craters, tens of thousands have died, and Trump suffers in the polls.

“It’s often said campaigns are a battle of ideas, but they’re really a battle of narratives,” said David Eichenbaum, a Democratic media consultant who is a senior adviser to the PAC. “Today those narratives spread quickly online.”

Disturbingly, if not surprisingly, the group will apparently be pushing false narratives, ones that have been debunked here at LI and elsewhere.

WaPo continues:

The initiative is run by Curtis Hougland, whose received initial funding for the technology from DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, as part of an effort to combat extremism overseas. He insists Democrats are ill-prepared for the looming battle over information and attention, which is bound to play an outsize role in November.

Hougland cites as an example Trump’s suggestion last week that injecting bleach or other household disinfectants could be a treatment for the novel coronavirus – a moment that appeared unequivocally damaging to the president but was less clear-cut as it unfolded on social media.

Although the episode was associated with a spike in Twitter engagement about Trump, especially in swing states such as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, according to Hougland’s analysis, four of the top six tweets about Trump and disinfectant came from accounts partial to the president, boosting the notion that he had not really suggested the bogus cure.

For his part, McChrystal claims that his involvement in the coordinated online hit job against the president is related to stopping the spread of disinformation.

He also seems to understand that this is questionable tactic because he justifies it by stating, “everyone wishes the Pandora’s box was closed and none of this existed, but it does.”

Yes, it’s there reportedly to combat ISIS, not to be used against the duly-elected American president and the millions of American citizens who support him.  Just because you can, in other words, doesn’t mean you should.

From WaPo:

McChrystal said his interest in the PAC is about ensuring the accuracy of information leading up to the election, even if it involves chasing viral attention with emotional appeals and other tactics rewarded by online clicks. “Everyone wishes the Pandora’s box was closed and none of this existed, but it does,” McChrystal said in an interview.

His ambivalence is shared by large parts of the Democratic Party, which recoiled at an effort, brought to light at the end of 2018, to use Russian-inspired tactics, including the creation of fake accounts, to sway the 2017 Senate election in Alabama.

You may recall McChrystal appearing on television to declare the president dishonest and “immoral.”

Watch:

WaPo continues:

Hougland’s PAC . . . . differs from more traditional Democratic-aligned PACs, such as Priorities USA and American Bridge 21st Century, in embracing the practice of paying influencers to convey their messaging. The approach raised eyebrows and prompted tech companies to clarify their rules when it was put into practice by Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign earlier this year.

“I have no trepidation about paying content creators in seeking out and amplifying the best narratives,” Hougland said.

It seems the project is rejecting the creation of fake accounts but is seeking to pay existing “influencers,” i.e. those with large social media followings, to tweet, Facebook, and Instagram (etc.) the “best” narratives .  .  .  as defined by Hougland and Democrats.

Even people purporting to be experts in disinformation are repeating the lie that calls to poison control spiked after Trump’s disinfectant comments.

WaPo continues:

Restraint could be a more effective approach, said Cindy Otis, a former CIA officer and disinformation researcher. She stressed the need to illustrate the real-world consequences of the president’s words, for instance demonstrating that his comments about bleach were followed by a spike in calls to emergency hotlines.

Otherwise, she said, “it’s most effective to counter false narratives with straight-up facts.”

Good advice, yet apparently she doesn’t think it applies to her. After all, the spike in calls occurred a good month before that particular presser.

It sounds like this is an online effort to spread and foreground disinformation online, not to correct or quell it, and to actively seek to silence and sideline actual “straight-up facts.”

This concept of paying social media “influencers” to post content provided by Defeat Disinfo for political purposes would seem to be a violation of most such platforms’ Terms of Service.

Fox News reports:

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Facebook told Fox News that “our policies require creators and publishers to tag business partners in their branded content posts when there’s an exchange of value between a creator or publisher and a business partner.”

Politicians and PACs who are authorized under Facebook’s policy entitled “Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics” are allowed to use the site’s branded content tool, the spokesperson added. The policy suggested that if Hougland paid any influencers, the arrangement would need to be disclosed.

As part of the authorization process for advertisers, Facebook says on its website that it “confirms their ID and allows them to disclose who is responsible for the ad, which will appear on the ad itself. The ad and ‘Paid for by’ disclaimer are placed in the Ad Library for seven years, along with more information such as range of spend and impressions, as well as demographics of who saw it.”

Twitter also chimed in on their stance on paid political content and on the accounts paid to push such content on their platform.

Fox News continues:

After this article was published, a Twitter spokesperson told Fox News that the site doesn’t have any comment “on the tactics of a political consultant or similar organization.” But, the spokesperson did point to Twitter’s platform manipulation and spam policy, adding that “if we find anyone to be in violation of these rules, we’ll take a range of enforcement actions.” Further, the spokesperson said Twitter also has a “thorough policy on automation and the use of third-party applications on our service.”

In 2018, Twitter launched its Political Campaigning Policy, which promises a degree of “transparency” for paid political communications.

The policy requires “advertisers who want to run political campaigning ads for Federal elections to self-identify and certify that they are located in the US Candidates and committees will have to provide their FEC ID, and non-FEC registered organizations and individuals will have to submit a notarized form.”

Additionally, “handles used for political campaigning advertising will have to comply with stricter requirements,” Twitter’s policy states. “The handle’s profile photo, header photo, and website must be consistent with its online presence and the Twitter bio must include a website that provides valid contact information. We will also be including a visual badge and disclaimer information on promoted content from certified accounts in the near future. This will allow users to easily identify political campaigning ads, know who paid for them, and whether it was authorized by a candidate.”

All I can say is that it looks like this one group alone will keep our Media Hoaxes feature writers very busy in the weeks and months to come.

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Comments

I honestly and truly don’t know how Trump gets through every day knowing 95% of what is written about him is lies or obfuscation, not to mention so much plotting against him. He has the inner strength of no other man I’ve known. Impressive.

McChrystal helping Democrats.

Would you be surprised he’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations?

https://www.cfr.org/membership/roster

You get your check yet, Fuzzy Slippers? I’m not worried much about this, Dems have everything, all the media, all the academia, and still their efforts are not enough to dislodge President Trump.

    lmao! Oddly, as someone with “wrong thoughts,” I’ve actually lost about 3K followers on Twitter since Trump was elected. Maybe more since it’s all behind the scenes and shadow-ban shady.

    It would be hilarious if they tried to get conservatives with large followings to tweet their crazy, though. The income donated immediately to reelect Trump, and the person’s followers all in on the joke.

Recall General McChristal for active duty; corvid19 oversight at Camp Craphole, Ecuador.

I don’t FB, Twitter or Instagram, etc. But if I did, I’d hope to see the hashtag #WeHaveYourBackMrPres though perhaps that sentiment is already expressed in the #WWG1WGA tag I’ve heard about.

Matt Taibbi scalped McChrystal and then hands the scalp to Obama who then hangs McChrystal’s scalp on the marble mantle in Valerie Jarrett’s bedroom.

And now McChrystal is working for the very same peole that scalped him. That’s odd behavior.

The Trump admin need to revoke all security clearances of former IC, political office holders and staff and military employees.

    Edward in reply to Tiki. | May 8, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Frankly, as someone who held such clearance, nobody should retain their clearance past their last day of government service. If they go to work for a defense corporation it would be easy enough to reinstate the clearance. To heck with claiming the taxpayers should help them write their biography by providing access to classified documents. There is a cost involved, even if only making the SCIF and documents available, checking the person in and out of the SCIF and someone to make sure a Sandy Berger doesn’t happen.

Wait. Till. The. Next. Trump. Rally.

IT WILL BE AMAZING

“Just” US created and based software? Let’s see… China, Russia, Iran and North Korea could “donate” to the cause. Add Hollywood creating “wag the dog” bogus video against Trump. Everything is on the table to win or take all the marbles. Cyber-sedition.

If you don’t recall, General McChrystal got fired for bad mouthing VP Biden in a Rolling Stones piece.

I would have thought McChrystal would have different attitudes after being knifed by Obama. This evaporates any sympathies I may have had for this evil man.

there is nothing wrong with this Blue Falcon that could not be solved with a properly filed M-68 complaint form.

Well, Obama accidentally did something right:
He fired General McChrystal. What a disgrace he is.

robertmitchell | May 7, 2020 at 5:19 am

Though I can with honesty state my time in the military was and is a significant time in my life and having served long enough to earn retired after 26 years, have seen these last twenty two years a degradation of duty, honor and country vis a via our senior military leaders. I served with great men and women in a time that the military understood its mission. Since retiring I and some of my colleagues have seen the United States military change their mission to war fighting to social justice engineering. This general though I do not remember serving under in any capacity, shows that the rot and infection of this social justice engineering serves not the United States of America but the political party whose allegiance he apparently owes. The corona virus hit the US military long before now and it has over these twenty two years since retiring embedded a stench that is associated with dead bodies.

This explains what is happening at TheFederalist.com. Within minutes of articles being posted the comments section is filled with disgusting hate-filled filth from trolls. They respond to every real post and within an hour the count is in the hundreds making it impossible to share your comments. The vile comments are cut and paste and reused in every comment section no matter the topic. Funny how you don’t see the same happening on the Leftist sites. I think it’s Antifa gone underground.

    Edward in reply to DanJ1. | May 8, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Indeed. If I blocked every troll on The Federalist, I’d run through the Discus 1000 block limit in less than a month.

Sad to say, but in today’s military many field grade and flag officers are leftists.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to bw222. | May 7, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Probably promotions based on how well they fit in with the Georgetown cocktail set.

buckeyeminuteman | May 7, 2020 at 9:01 am

McChrystal was fired for being so critical of Obama. And yet is critical of Trump to the point of embarrassing himself. Even in today’s world I guess you don’t have to be strictly black or white.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | May 7, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Maybe he’s just one of these grouchy people that isn’t happy about anything. I’ve had a couple of family members that way. They wouldn’t be happy if he gave them a Rolls-Royce with a chauffeur to get around.

ScottTheEngineer | May 7, 2020 at 9:25 am

I’m not sure what’s more pathetic. Americans selling their integrity for 30 shackles or the fact that democrats have to pay people to like them.

This deep state turd is a four-star asshole, the kind of “perfumed prince” the late COL Dave Hackworth used to warn us about.

Barry Soetoro | May 7, 2020 at 8:24 pm

McChrystal implies Democrats are honest, a real dope.

Shilling for the Chicoms and DNC can’t backfire.

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