In Russia Sanctions And The Coming Crackdown On Americans we exposed a new project called "Hamilton 68" which claims to monitor 600 twitter accounts in real time, looking for what its creators consider to be overt, covert, as well as "second tier" Russian propaganda. The list of suspected "pro-Russian" twitter accounts is not provided, nor is any rationale given for how an account gets put on the list. Most disturbing is that the organization behind Hamilton 68, the newly established Alliance for Securing Democracy, is a creation of the German Marshall Fund - itself mostly funded by the US and NATO states.
Like the completely failed and laughable "PropOrNot" before it (which publishes a McCarthyite sounding "The List"), Hamilton 68 immediately garnered mainstream news coverage presenting it merely as a benign and innocuous watchdog tool for protecting American democracy. Not long after PropOrNot appeared seemingly out of nowhere, it quickly rose from internet obscurity and invisibility after being the focus of a Washington Post article written in the form of objective hard news (the Post article now sits with an embarrassing Editor's Note and Correction pinned to the top and bottom of the page).
In the case of Hamilton 68, Reuters profiled it the very day it was launched (last Wednesday). Reuters presents it as:
part of a growing non-governmental effort to diminish Moscow's ability to meddle in future elections in the United States and Europe. The "Hamilton 68" dashboard (here) was built by researchers working with the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan, transatlantic project set up last month to counter Russian disinformation campaigns.
Reuters contrasts this supposedly "bipartisan" public interest initiative which heroically watches out for the integrity of US elections while painting Trump as indifferent and showing "reluctance" in the face of aggressive Russian cyber attacks, subtly suggesting the White House is compromised. And further adds that, "U.S. intelligence officials and lawmakers have warned that Russia will attempt to interfere in the 2018 congressional elections and the next presidential election in 2020."
So anonymous "intelligence officials" are already warning us about the 2020 election. The placement of such an alarmist statement completely lacking in any kind of evidence - but merely the usual anonymous officials - alongside news of a supposedly public interest watchdog project, is meant to give Hamilton 68 an automatic imprimatur as "trustworthy" and objective in this Reuters wire piece. The article concludes with a paragraph on the Federalist papers (referencing the project's title) to further impress upon the American reader that Alliance for Securing Democracy has praiseworthy patriotic motives.
It tracks and stores information about others who have no connection to Russia but who "on their own initiative reliably repeat and amplify Russian themes." This is what the German Marshall Fund calls a "network" of second tier disinformation distributors.
If an article, tweet, or headline is trending among "Russian influence" accounts - which in this case means Alliance for Securing Democracy's secret list of 600 twitter accounts - the trending URL appears on the dashboard's front page underneath this banner:
Essentially this is simple guilt by association, as we described:
What does this "network" of people with no connection to Russia but who amplify Russian "themes" do?
It "reflects Russian messaging priorities, but that does not mean every name or link you see on the dashboard is pro-Russian. The network sometimes amplifies stories that Russia likes, or people with like-minded views but no formal connection to Russia."
So, according to the self-proclaimed alliance for securing democracy you might not even know it when you are pushing Russian state propaganda!
Included on the dashboard at various times are hugely popular independent news sites like Robert Parry's Consortium News, The Federalist, Breitbart, and Zero Hedge, as well as establishment news sources like The Washington Times and Bloomberg.
Alliance for Securing Democracy's online tracking tool reads: "Top websites tweeted by a monitored set of accounts related to Russian influence campaigns."
Most sites listed do share in common an anti-establishment outlook as part of independent and alternative media. But the variety of sites and their differing content emphasis, combined with no available indicators or specific formulas for how the sources are designated as "Russian influencers", makes the project ultimately meaningless and lacking in any semblance of scientific data-driven analysis.
Like PropOrNot before it, Hamilton 68 is yet another well-funded and well-connected smear campaign singling out independent media which received mainstream media approval and promotion. It exists to give gullible audiences the illusion that a data analysis driven tech tool produced via a "bipartisan" think tank has meticulously and objectively proven the "there's a Russia connection lurking behind every corner" conspiracy theory. Unlike PropOrNot, however, the think tank is stacked with neocon and Hillaryite heavy hitters preparing for all out war.
But who specifically is behind the Alliance for Securing Democracy? For that we should turn to Col. Pat Lang's blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis, which artfully summarizes its origins. Pat Lang is a retired former high ranking Pentagon intelligence officer who oversaw all military intelligence for the Middle East, and was a presidential intelligence briefer under past presidents. His blog has become an unofficial hangout of sorts for a small group of career intelligence analysts and former defense officials who often post under pseudonyms and maintain continued extensive contacts throughout the DoD and intelligence community. In short, it's a group of commentators who've been insiders with a full view and understanding of the deep state (which they frequently reference as 'the Borg'), but which now seek to expose the dangerous group think that defines national security bureaucracy.
Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis provided the following commentary early this week, based on an inside source privy to a recent White House national security meeting:
Last week, Politico and other "news" outlets reported that President Trump got into a brawl with his military advisers over the future of American involvement in Afghanistan. To have read the coverage, one would have thought that the President had a mental meltdown and rejected the sage advise of his Secretary of Defense, National Security Adviser and other security aides. However, in talking with a friend who was privy to that meeting, the President asked the kind of probative questions that citizens expect of their elected leader, when considering issues of war and peace. As I heard it, Trump was unhappy with the options he was given, because they represented "more of the same" plans that have failed for the last 16 years. "If any other President had that same discussion, he or she would have been praised for doing the right thing. Because it was Trump, he was lambasted."
Well, it becomes more and more obvious by the day that the Borg [or the deep state] has decided that Trump is unacceptable--American voters aside. There is now an overt merger of the neocons and the humanitarian interventionists. Call it Barack Obama marries Dick Cheney. That's what is happening. The German Marshall Fund has founded a new project called the Alliance for Securing Democracy, which looks to be a replacement for the new defunct Foreign Policy Initiative, which in turn replaced the Bush-Cheney era Project for a New American Century. The Alliance is co-chaired by Laura Rosenberger, who was a leading foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and Jamie Fly, who headed FPI before it went to ground recently. The other members of the Alliance include David Kramer, former McCain Institute director, who shopped the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump's alleged Russian indiscretions to the FBI and the media, Bill Kristol, and Obama's ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
One of the hubs of the "Trump as Russian Agent" meme is the George Soros-funded Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which is also funded by the US Government, according to Robert Parry. That Soros outfit was a prime source for hedge fund manager Bill Browder, who has been recently trotted out to testify in Congress on the Trump-Russia collusion.
The new think tank is a grotesque Frankenstein creation born of a marriage between Bush era neocons and Hillary and Obama foreign policy advisers, including former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell - one the architects behind CIA efforts to effect regime change in Syria. The names connected with it are well placed to wage war against the Trump administration and manipulate the American public given their various media platforms and broad access (similar to PNAC's origins in the 1990's). We expect that "Hamilton 68" is merely the beginning of much more to come.