Tuesday, March 20, 2018

To CBC News

I'm astonished at how poorly CBC News is covering the AggregateIA, Cambridge Analytica, Steve Bannon, Trump story. They don't see the connections. Coming from our state broadcaster, it's embarrassing. It led me to send the following email to Mother Corp:

You still don't get it. Wylie winds up at SCL, a British military contractor. SCL creates Cambridge Analytica with money floated by American billionaire Robert Mercer. Mercer funds and Steve Bannon apparently directs Cambridge Analytica. They use Kogon's data to mine the Facebook profiles of some 50-million Americans without their knowledge of consent. 
Lewandowski, then working for Trump who is about to announce his candidacy, comes to Cambridge Analytica. Bannon is still running Breitbart. Lewandowski comes and goes, replaced by Manafort.  When Manafort trips up, Bannon becomes Trump's campaign manager. 
Cambridge uses the purloined data on a manipulation campaign. It's said the Trump campaign auto-generates tens of thousands of messages every day, each targeted at a slightly different psychographic profile. Wylie describes "information dominance": whereby their messages literally surround the target voter, playing on their fears and anger and other base instincts. 
Wylie adds that he knew something was up when he was required to brief representatives of a Russian energy company on all this Facebook data. What, he asks, does a Russian oil company want with the data on 50-million Facebook users? That company is owned by an oligarch joined at the hip to Vlad Putin. The data goes to Russia. 
Cambridge hacks facebook and other computer media at one end, the Russians do the same from their end. The Russians come in with their hacked emails and funnel them to Wikipedia where Assange sees to their targeted release. It's a coordinated effort. 
Bannon moves from Cambridge to direct the Trump campaign, becoming Trump's chief strategist. As Sam Nunberg later said, "at the time Steve took control the (Trump) campaign was in dire straights."  Bannon later takes credit for Trump's win. He deserves it. Leaves Trump infuriated. 
The hacking is focused on key states Trump needs to win to take the electoral college. It works. Welcome the 45th president of the United States. 
Trump never expected to win. Many believe he never wanted to win. He had other plans. Cambridge and the Russians essentially propelled him into the White House. 
This information is almost a year old. Why didn't you see it?


Owen Gray said...

An excellent summary, Mound. The pieces to the puzzle are falling into place.

the salamander said...

.. its an astonishing massive tale..
And we are seeing the tip of the iceberg..

to mix metaphors..
its like not noticing an elephant
has entered the room
and has now joined you in bed
while you were on Facebook

Robert Mueller must wake up in the AM
smile and get ready to bag some more specimens
Where mainstream media is on this
remains to be discovered..
CBC asleep at the wheel
(all things on planet earth are 'alleged')

This is Watergate on steroids
Plumbers ? What plumbers ?
This is Conspiracy, Collusion
Criminal.. Personal data theft & resale
and the courts & law firms
can sort out the rest

Can you smell 'Class Action' lawsuits ?
If in any way you have a taint of Cambridge Analytica
you are political roadkill..

John's Aghast said...

How come Trump hasn't taken out Mueller? Isn't he a bit of a thorn?

What's happened to Manafart? He used to be one of the centres of attention. Now, not so much.

Toby said...

CBC may be underestimating its audience; or maybe not. This is the sort of story that can cause listeners to drowse off or change channels. What concerns most people is that someone is stealing their private data. Dead stop. Of course, there is a lot of wilful stupidity involved. Mr. Zuckerberg got rich by selling users' data to any and all buyers. There is no such thing as a safe way to use Facebook; that would directly affect Mr. Zuckerberg's profits. This has been obvious for as long as Facebook has been popular yet people use it anyway.

Mound, your report above is detailed and accurate. I'm just not sure that many people want to know. However, that does not excuse those at CBC who have a responsibility to inform. Soft pedaling important stories is not good for us.

Lorne said...

You've provided the map, Mound. Let's see if anyone wants to follow it.

The Mound of Sound said...

If Trump was going to get rid of Mueller he probably left it too late. His whole "NO COLLUSION" shtick has pretty much collapsed with the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Somebody should have slipped a little polonium into Chris Wylie's tea months ago.

I think Lindsay Graham's warning to Trump that ditching Mueller would be the beginning of the end of his presidency is sincere.

The Mound of Sound said...

Those of us old enough to remember Watergate,Toby, will recall that the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office and the Democratic headquarters initially was a big yawner. That was a nation numbed by the Viet Nam war and the intense social division it spawned. It took a while before it got traction with the public after the bigger picture emerged but, after that point, Nixon was doomed. The Congressional Republicans had to abandon the guy who had given their party two hefty election wins.

These scandals ripen. I'm betting this one will too. There are simply too many lurid details - mind fucking, under the table dealings, foreign intelligence, social media - it's like there are half a dozen movies in this.

The Mound of Sound said...

Lorne, I expect Mueller is pretty deep into this stuff. This is proof of coordination, collusion and conspiracy. I think it even snags Trump personally.

Northern PoV said...

Pravda journalists (circa 60s/70s/80s) who knew how to hide real news 'between the lines' used to laugh at their western, "free" counterparts who acted as gov't stenographers.
At least the Chinese are under no illusions of freedom:
"China’s alternative to Facebook behind the Great Firewall is Wechat, Tencent’s premier product. Unlike Facebook users, who feel violated when they learn that their personal data was appropriated by big data firms, Chinese social media users have no expectation of privacy. The issue simply doesn’t arise: Everything that one does in China is subject to examination by the state."

The world has become an interesting amalgam of Huxley's Brave New World (soma anyone?) and Orwell's 1984 where-in the two-way TV security device is happily paid for and installed by the victims instead of the the state.

Anonymous said...

Trump would have Graham's full support for ditching Mueller for the low, low price of a war in Iran.


the salamander said...

.. 'a half dozen movies'

A shame Elmore Leonard aint around
He would have added twin cheerleader strippers
mebbe from Wharton.. grad students I think
or Hunter S Thompson
who would have smacked a vicious home run or two
with Stormy weather Daniels bored by Trump's shark tv
and flimsy weenie

At least in Canada eh
we have Michael Harris
to rock th casbah
so we aint destitute

UU4077 said...

Related - People may be giving their consent to share their Facebook data without really relaising it ...


Northern PoV said...

I sadly agree with Cap on Graham.
Impeachment is a political process..... w/o a blue-tsunami this year get used to the 2020 Trump election campaign. It will warm your hearts.

"Those of us old enough to remember Watergate,Toby, will recall that " "in 1973, we had a Republican Party with some independent-minded lawmakers in it. Here is The New York Times article covering the Saturday Night Massacre in October 1973. The third paragraph states: “Senior members of both parties in the House of Representatives were reported to be seriously discussing impeachment of the president because of his refusal to obey an order by the United States Court of Appeals that he turn over to the courts tape recordings of conversations about the Watergate case, and because of Mr. Nixon’s dismissal of Mr. [Archibald] Cox.”

Take note: seriously discussing impeachment.
If Trump fires Mueller, could Haberman and her White House-based Times colleagues write that same sentence today? "

Northern PoV said...

Hey Mound ... I am trying for a little humour here where I appropriated your quote. Not meaning to offend.

I even flagged it in square brackets as "mischief" but must have triggered an html command as it disappeared.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans will never go after Mercer. They'll go after Zuckerbergbbeforr that would ever happen. They media are all ready claiming and to some truth that Obama used FB targeting

The difference which I think is the key Obama didn't have the algorithm from the the U.K. Prof. That Wylie stole or re-created and that to me was the scary part.


The Mound of Sound said...

I agree, NPoV. The world does seem in some ways to have become an amalgam of Brave New World and 1984. The question is what in hell we're going to do about it. In theory, our political caste are the gate keepers charged with defending our democracy but they're so bent today that I doubt they have the courage or even the will to do it. Captured politicians rarely defy their sponsors.

That said, it sure is fascinating to watch this play out. Like the Mango Mussolini himself, this garbage is larger than life.

The Mound of Sound said...

Cap, Trump's political capital must be draining away rapidly. He has the Dems out for his blood, joined by a gaggle of Repugs who won't run again, plus another cadre of Republicans who will be seeing Trump as a serious liability to their future aspirations plus those who can't stomach Trump's policies on tariffs, etc. Too bad the Ides of March has come and gone for this year.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, Sal, it is a shame Elmore Leonard isn't around. He would have a grand time writing a few movie treatments out of this.

The Mound of Sound said...

NPoV, no offence taken. Consider, however, that the Dems now have a double digit lead overall for the mid-terms with a gaggle of incumbent Republicans choosing not to run again and now this hydra of a scandal to ripen over the summer.

How happy do you imagine they'll be if Trump imperils their grip on the Senate, possibly the House as well?

The Mound of Sound said...

Willy, we're only beginning to understand how Wiley leapfrogged on Kogon's work. He weaponized it, something he'd been working on before he joined Cambridge Analytica. It came out of AggregateIQ and the Brexit referendum.

He tried to shop it to our Libs, then the Obama camp and finally the Lib Dems and kept getting turned down. A Lib Dem contact then marched him over to SCL who loved what he was doing, brought him in and gave him free rein to pursue his technology. Along the way Cambridge was created, funded by Mercer and steered by Bannon.

BTW, does anybody know if Bannon has come back after his barnstorming in France, Hungary and Germany?

He was utterly exultant in his conversations with Wolffe ("Fire and Fury") about the stupidity of Don Jr., Manafort and Kushner in attending the Trump Tower meeting, calling it "treasonous." He used it to also denigrate those, such as Hope Hicks who allowed themselves to get involved in drafting Trump's silly cover story. Bannon went to great lengths about how he quarantined himself from that fiasco. It turns out he wasn't being entirely candid.

Who knew?

Jay Farquharson said...

Manifort's Trial starts September 17.

Trump can't fire Meuller.

Only Rosenstien has the legal authority to fire Meuller, and it has to be "for cause", a very narrow set of defined legal improprieties, and it has to be supported by "findings" by the DOJ's IG,

Rosenstien can only be fired by the AG, but maybe not Sessions, because he recused himself from Treason Tribbles investigation and Everything Clinton, ( he crossed that line with McCabe's firing, but the Party of Treason's not doing anything about it).

Rosenstien's replacement would be the next ADA on the seniority list, and there's no way he would try to fire Meuller. You have to go down the seniority list to #23 to find an ADA who might side with Treason Tribble.

That's a lot of promotions and firings, or mass firings, and would cause an even bigger shitstorm,

and then, if Meuller "declines" to be "your fired", it goes all the way up to the Supreme Court, and Meuller keeps working until then.

They could however, "unfund" Meuller, but at this point in time, his team would probably keep working for free if needed and the Go Fund Me would be "yuuge".

Jay Farquharson said...

Channel 4's put their whole investigation series up on YouTube,

And the Guardian has indexed all their articles going back to before "The Great Brexit Train Robbery".

Carol Caldwaller's giving updates and infils regularly on Twitter,

FB staff were "busted" trying to "clean evidence" at Anal's British Offices yesterday.

Jay Farquharson said...

Oh, and Zuck's being "summoned" to Britain to answer some questions.

Anonymous said...

What is the exact meaning of SCL?

The Mound of Sound said...

SCL stands for Strategic Communication Laboratories which is British for "ratfuckers extraordinaire."

Jay Farquharson said...


The Mound of Sound said...

Jay, my friend, I never really grasped the essence of "wildfire" until this past weekend. Then again some wildfires abruptly burn themselves out. Wait and see, I guess.

BTW do you have a link for that story about FB staff being caught at CA's offices?

Anonymous said...

Mound, most of the GOP worry is in the House, where they're seriously at risk of losing their majority. But that isn't unexpected in a midterm election.

However, impeachment plays out in the Senate, not the House. Republicans know this all too well after their failure to put an end to The Clenis. The chance of the Senate flipping is slim; the chance of 2/3rds of its members voting to impeach Trump is even slimmer.

In any case, as things stand, only Rosenstein can fire Mueller, and then only for cause. If Trump fires Rosenstein or replaces Sessions, then we'll know he's serious about taking out Mueller.


Jay Farquharson said...

Carol Caldwaller's twitter was where I got it first, the Guardian's got it up now,


BTW, one of the best indepth articles on Anal is from January, 2017,


Jay Farquharson said...

At this point in time, ( even after the Midterms), impeachment's unlikely.

A Dem sweep in the Midterms will however protect Meuller,

And Meuller's on track to send hundreds of Republicans to jail.

Trailblazer said...

At the end of the day we are witnessing a global political,economic fraud.
The world's economy is based upon speculation not results.
Were it result based our standard of living would be less affluent.
We are constantly offloading our way of life upon future generations.
Someday it has to end/fail.
This is what the Trump/Russia fiasco is all about..illusion..
Illusion that we can fuck this planet for all it's worth with no consequence.