Even smart people are not immune to controlled bouts of this fever. “This war in all its atrociousness is still a great and wonderful thing. It is an experience worth having“ rejoiced Max Weber in 1914 when the lights went out in Europe. Thomas Mann felt a “cleansing, liberation, and a tremendous amount of hope“.
Newspapers we thought to be all about thoughts and ideas now march in lock-step with politicians in their calls for sanctions against Russia's President Putin. Even the headlines betray an aggressive tension as is usually characteristic of hooligans when they 'support' their respective teams.
The Tagesspiegel: “Enough talk!“ The FAZ: “Show strength“. The Süddeutsche Zeitung: “Now or never.“ The Spiegel calls for an “End to cowardice“: “Putin's web of lies, propaganda, and deception has been exposed. The wreckage of MH 17 is also the result of a crashed diplomacy.“
Western politics and German media agree.And now, this. Enter Cambridge Analytica and Trump's new national security advisor, the insanely bellicose John Bolton.
Every reflexive string of accusations results in the same outcome: in no time allegations and counter-allegations become so entangled that the facts become almost completely obscured. Who deceived who first?
The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company documents.
Mr. Bolton’s political committee, known as The John Bolton Super PAC, first hired Cambridge in August 2014, months after the political data firm was founded and while it was still harvesting the Facebook data.
...the contract between the political action committee and Cambridge, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, offers more detail on just what Mr. Bolton was buying. The contract broadly describes the services to be delivered by Cambridge as “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging.”...
“The Bolton PAC was obsessed with how America was becoming limp wristed and spineless and it wanted research and messaging for national security issues,” Mr. Wylie said.
“That really meant making people more militaristic in their worldview,” he added. “That’s what they said they wanted, anyway.”