Based on my mission (Codename: GRINGO11) to collect and analyze the interaction between Trump-Russia headlines and the publishers of disinformation about geopolitical analysts getting the story of the century correct, here’s another pattern analysis: The Four-Day Panic Rule.
It took a historic disinformation campaign to create the chaotic narrative around the Trump “victory.” And a very intense one to cover up the interference of foreign intelligence and domestic traitors. The narrative from November 9, 2016 to December 11, 2016 was one of of shock, trauma, and bewilderment – a sweetheart outcome for Bannon and Mercer’s operation.
Then Game Theory caught the publics attention for exposing the length, breadth, and depth of Russian interference.The agents and assets of RIS and domestic traitors alike launched immediately to discredit me, Twitter, and history books. It took them a few days to find a focus.
The first wave of Deza/hitpieces started immediately, Dec 12. This refers only to articles published in major media, *not* the trolls and bots and useful idiots who amplified their main messages. To recap, the main messages were:
- Russia is a conspiracy theory; there’s nothing there.
- Twitter is full of garbage.
- Garland is a fraud.
- Trump will be president for four years; stop looking for answers.
Ironically, for all the bluster about “Twitter doesn’t matter,” further analysis shows that these media hitpieces were used, not to carry original messages, but to offer timely fodder for amplifying Deza on Twitter itself. Since news tends to travel on Twitter, Team Treason used real people and bots to flood the Twitter environment any time they were worried about people realizing the depth of Russia’s involvement.
They were apparently worried all of December. As the US government reacted to the Trump-Russia profanity, propagandists flooded Twitter with agitprop all about little ol’ me. It started Dec 12 and was amplified until January 4, 2014. (“Why Liberals Need to Get a Grip on Russia”) This was the last “Game Theory Guy LOL” piece published for a month.
Disinformation ops and the Four-Day Panic Rule
What changed? The USIC published an UNCLAS report on Russian election interference. 17 agencies reported with high confidence that Russia helped Trump.
This changed the dialogue instantly. Trump went on defensive. Reince said *maybe* Trump accepted the IC’s conclusions. Obama sanctioned five Russians.
Then, four days later, Jan 10, 2017: Buzzfeed publishes the bombshell 35-page Steele Dossier, opening the door to a disinformation Op that started that very day. See, that was the day the USIC was set to brief both Obama and Trump on the scope of what they had on the president-elect. This would have sent additional shocks. But, alas…The Dossier.
The Dossier is interesting, it’s salacious, important even – but it’s a distraction from the work of the USIC, which remains classified. However, it’s PERFECT feedstock for coordinated Deza. The very day DNI Clapper, DIRFBI Comey, and DIRCIA Brennan testified to Senate Intel, the NY Times prints “Trump Received Unsubstantiated Report that Russia Had Damaging Info About Him.” Also using its disturbing soft focus on Nazis, the NY Times also publishes “Breitbart’s Man in Rome: A Gentle Voice in a Strident Chorus.”
Pope Benedict. Strident compared to Nazis. Quite a lede.
Vox Media (who feature prominently in this behavior all year through multiple outlets) take the angle of “People are losing their minds about the Dossier.” Ah, the framing of Trump-Russia as mental disorder. Classic Kremlin technique if there ever was one.
On January 11, 2017, Trump gets to wake up and shout “Fake News!” Russia also dismisses it within hours. Newsweek asks thirteen questions about the Dossier that are facile if not disingenuous. NY Post calls it the “Blackmail Dossier.” I, of course, can’t know if Buzzfeed – which compared Trump-Russia to Infowars four weeks later – knowingly published the Dossier as an easy target for disinformation. (Or if they just have a rogue editor?) But I do know there’s a pattern.
With the Dossier as the Trump-Russia fetish object for Trump’s supporters, the published hitpieces on me pause for a month. What brings them back? The first week of the administration.
Trump is inaugurated in what Bush 43 calls “some weird shit.” And then it gets weirder. After all the characterization of Trump-Russia as conspiracy theory, POTUS immediately works hand-in-hand with Putin. From hour-long calls to promising to lift sanctions to hot oil back rubs, by Saturday, January 28, 2017, it becomes undeniable to even the skeptical that Trump has an unnatural relationship with Russia. That should settle the prior skepticism, right?
Four days later, The Washington Post publishes “The Cult of the Paranoid Medium Post,” referencing yours truly and warning “liberals” about the danger of, um, online essays. About Russia. Here we got again. Slate follows up with “Conspiracy Theory Theory,” and after Game Theory + Day 30, certain digital outlets head straight back for their prior theme of “NOTHING TO SEE HERE.” The forthcoming hitpieces add new keywords to discredit interest in Trump-Russia and even float alt-Right operative Mike Cernovich as an author liberals should consider. And then, February 12, 2017, that’s the last of the Trump-Russia is Game Theory Conspiracy for six weeks.
What likely happened? February 14, 2017 Lt.Gen. Michael Flynn suddenly tenders his resignation after it is revealed that he was in regular contact with Sergey Kislyak during the transition. I guess it’s hard to keep hitting “Publish” on “Conspiracy Conspiracy Russia Theory LOL Conspiracy,” when there’s a resignation from a high-ranking official over conspiring with Russia.
And all finally goes quiet on the BA-English-Major-with-Four-Years-Experience-Who Suddenly-Knows-Counterintelligence Front.
Until March 24, 2017. What happened on March 20, 2017? That’s when James Comey’s testimony revealed to HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes that just because they didn’t “tapp” Trump Tower doesn’t mean US citizens didn’t get picked up – or unmasked – through incidental collection. Almost instantly after the hearing, a clearly rattled Nunes was jumping pantsless out of Ubers and giving press conferences to passing squirrels. March 20 showed Team Treason they were on more SIGINT – and in trouble.
Next round of media “interest” (insofar as interest in producing stories that cast me as unhinged, linking to even worse hitpieces) came on March 24. The Four-Day Panic ended with its now predictable push to silence voices that kept the public fixed on discovering whatever this historic, unholy issue with Russia might be. Then came an obvious Wag-the-Dog operation in Syria, where the new disinformation line was “See, Trump just angered Putin, therefore they aren’t friends.” This led to even more sports writers in the media, based on their knowledge of Russian political warfare, to yet again frame Trump-Russia – shamelessly – as conspiracy theories pushed by kooks.
This pattern continues when Mueller is appointed, when Trump and Putin make out all day in Hamburg at the G-20, and…last month, as Mueller tightened his grip. It looks like as soon as Trump-Russia advances seriously, it takes Trump’s shadow propagandists about four days to figure out how to flood the Internet with doubt discord, perchance to avoid the inevitable a little bit longer.
There was a disinformation/public relations playbook, organized and consistent. To quote our former DIRFBI, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” I think people need to know more about how the media helped obscure the work of uncovering a political and counterintelligence scandal for the ages.