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HomeKathy GyngellThe Tucker Carlson interview: How America turned on its own people, Part Two

The Tucker Carlson interview: How America turned on its own people, Part Two

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ON THURSDAY we recommended readers to watch Tucker Carlson’s latest astonishing interview with the cyber security expert, Mike Benz. You can see Uncensored: The National Security State & the Inversion of Democracy here. 

It is an hour-long interview jam-packed with information and analysis (with few pauses for breath in its ten thousand fast-paced words) that few of us were fully aware of before. This is the reason why we have decided to break the transcript up into segments and run it over a number of days. In Part 1 Benz explains how the US government was blindsided by the power of social media, first seen as a good thing to prop up democracy and free speech abroad, as summarised here by Redacted News, until the US-backed coup in Ukraine (which ethnic Russians did not want at all) changed everything, and the US no longer saw social media as a freedom trigger to topple governments abroad but as a domestic threat to their own (liberal, progressive) interests and control.

In this second segment Benz turns his attention to the post-war historic roots of the national security state, the CIA and the battle for hearts and minds that been given, as he describes it, ‘a long moral licence’, the inversion of  ‘foreign’ democracy threat into a perceived homegrown one as Trump won the 2016 election and the Brexit vote was won the next year in the UK, after which censorship went as he says ‘full throttle’. Popular politics and parties, especially those concerned with migration, had to be repressed. 

The Transcript, Part Two

Tucker Carlson: [00:11:00] So you well, you just told a remarkable story that I’ve never heard anybody explain as lucidly and crisply as you just did. But did anyone at Nato or anyone at the State Department pause room and say, wait a second, we’ve just identified our new enemy as democracy within our own countries? I think that’s what you’re saying. They feared that the people, the citizens of their own countries would get their way, and they went to war against that, and the superseding of legacy media by social media.

Mike Benz: Yes. Now, you know, there’s a rich history of this dating back to the Cold War. You know, the Cold War in Europe was essentially a similar struggle for hearts and minds of people, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. You know, in these sort of, Soviet buffer zones. And, starting in 1948, the national security state was really established. Then, you know, you had the 1947 Act, which established the Central Intelligence Agency. You had this new world order that had been created with all these international institutions. And you had the 1948 UN Declaration on Human Rights, which forbade the territorial acquisition by military force. So you can no longer run a traditional military occupation government in the way that we could. In 1898, for example, when we took the Philippines, everything had to be done through a sort of political legitimation process, whereby there’s some ratification from the hearts and minds of people within the country. Now, often that involves simply puppet politicians who are groomed as emerging leaders by our State Department. 

But the battle for hearts and minds had been something that we had been giving ourselves a long moral licence. Leash, if you will. Since 1948, one of the godfathers of the CIA, George Kennan, at, 12 days after we rigged the Italian election in 1948 by stuffing ballot boxes and working with the mob, we published a memo called ‘The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare’, where he said, listen, it’s a mean old world out there. We at the CIA just rigged the Italian election. We had to do it because if the communists won, maybe there’ll never be another election in Italy again. So. But it’s really effective, guys, we need a department of dirty tricks to be able to do this around the world. And it’s essentially a new social contract we’re constructing with the American people. Because this is not the way we’ve conducted diplomacy before, but we are now forbidden from using the War Department. In 1948, they also renamed the War Department to the Defense Department. 

So, again, as part of this, this diplomatic onslaught for political control, rather than looking like it’s overt military control, but essentially what ends up happening there is we created this foreign domestic firewall. We said that we have a department of dirty tricks to be able to rig elections, to be able to control media, to be able to meddle in the internal affairs of every other plant of dirt in the country. But this sort of sacred dirt on which the American homeland sits will, they are not allowed to operate there. The State Department, the Defense Department and the CIA are all expressly forbidden from operating on US soil. Of course, this is so far from the case, it’s not even funny. But that’s because of a number of laundering tricks that they’ve developed over 70 years of doing this. 

But essentially, there was no moral quandary at first with respect to the creation of the censorship industry when it started out in Germany and in Lithuania and Latvia and Estonia and in Sweden and Finland, there began to be a more diplomatic debate about it after Brexit. And then it was, it became full throttle when Trump was elected and what little resistance there was washed over by the rise and saturation of Russiagate, which basically allowed them to not have to deal with the moral ambiguities of censoring your own people. Because if Trump was a Russian asset, you no longer really had a traditional free speech issue. It was a national security issue. It was only after Russiagate died in July 2019, when Robert Mueller basically choked on the stand for three hours and revealed he had absolutely nothing. After two and a half years of investigation that the foreign to domestic switcheroo took place, where they took all of this censorship architecture spanning DHS, the FBI, the CIA, the DoD, the DoJ, and then the thousands of government-funded NGO and private sector mercenary firms were all basically transmitted from a foreign folk, from a foreign predicate, a Russian disinformation predicate to a democracy predicate, by saying that disinformation is not just a threat when it comes from the Russians, it’s actually an intrinsic threat to democracy itself. 

And so by that, they were able to launder the entire democracy promotion regime change toolkit, just in time for the 2020 election.

Carlson: It’s almost beyond belief this has happened. I mean, my own father worked for the US government in this business in the information war against the Soviet Union. And, you know, was a big part of that. And the idea that any of those tools would be turned against American citizens by the US government was, I think I want to think was absolutely unthinkable and say, 1988. And you’re saying that it’s there really hasn’t been anyone who’s raised objections. And it’s just, it’s absolutely turned inward to manipulate and rig our own elections, as we would in say, Latvia.

Benz: Yeah. Well, as soon as the democracy predicate was established, you had this professional class of professional regime change artists and operatives. That is the same people who argued that, you know, we need to bring democracy to Yugoslavia. You. And that’s the predicate for getting rid of, you know, Milosevic or any other country around the world where we basically overthrow governments in order to preserve democracy. Well, if the democracy threat is homegrown now, then that becomes, you know, then suddenly these people all have new jobs moving on the US side, and they can go through a million examples of that. 

But one thing on what you just mentioned, which is that, you know from their perspective, they just weren’t ready for the internet. 2016 was really the first time that social media had reached such maturity that it began to eclipse legacy media. I mean, this was a long time coming. I think folks saw this building from 2006 through 2016. You know, internet 1.0 didn’t even have social media. From 1991 to 2004, there was no social media at all. 2004 Facebook came out 2005, Twitter, 2006 YouTube, 2007 the smartphone and so. And in that initial period of social media, nobody was getting subscriber shifts at the level where they actually competed with legacy news media. But over the course of being, you know, so initially, even these dissident voices within the US, even though they, they may have been loud, in moments, they never reached 30million followers, they never reached, you know, a billion impressions a year type thing as a uncensored, mature ecosystem allowed citizen journalists and independent voices to be able to outcompete legacy news media. 

This induced a massive crisis both in our military and in our State Department and intelligence services. And I give you a great example of this. In 2019, at a meeting of the German Marshall Fund, which is, you know, an institution that goes back to the US, basically, and I’m don’t want to say bribe, but the essentially the soft power economic soft power projection in Europe as part of the reconstruction of European governments after World War 2, to be able to essentially pay them, with Marshall Fund dollars. And then in return, they basically were under our thumb in terms of how they reconstructed. But the German Marshall Fund held the meeting in 2019 (they held a million of these, frankly) where a four-star general got up on the panel and said  what happens, he posed the question, what happens to the US military? What happens to the national security state when the New York Times is reduced to a medium-sized Facebook page? 

And he posed this thought experiment as an example of we’ve had these gatekeepers, we’ve had these bumper cars on democracy in the form of a century-old relationship with legacy media institutions. I mean, our mainstream media is not in any shape or form, even from its outset, independent from the national security state, from the State Department, from the War Department. You know, you had the initial, all of the initial broadcast news companies NBC, ABC and CBS were all created by Office of War Information veterans from the War Department’s effort in World War II. You had these Operation Mockingbird relationships from the 1950s through the 1970s. Those continued it through the use of the National Endowment for Democracy and the privatization of intelligence capacities in the 1980s under Reagan. There’s all sorts of CIA reading room memos you can read, even on CIA.gov about those continued media relations throughout the 1990s. And so you always had this backdoor relationship between the Washington Post, the New York Times, and all of the major broadcast media corporations. By the way, you know, Rupert Murdoch and Fox are part of this as well. You know, Rupert Murdoch was actually part of the National Endowment for Democracy coalition in 1983 when it was formed as a way to do CIA operations in an above-board way after the Democrats were so ticked off at the CIA for manipulating student movements in the 1970s. 

But essentially (with social media) there was no CIA intermediary to random citizen journalists, there was no Pentagon backstop. You couldn’t get a story killed. You couldn’t have this ‘favors for favors’ relationship. You couldn’t promise access to some random person with 700,000 followers who’s got an opinion on Syrian gas. And so this induced and this was not a problem for the initial period of social media from 2006 to 2014, because there were never dissident groups that were big enough to be able to have a mature ecosystem on their own. And all of the victories on social media had gone, in the way of where the money was, which was from the State Department, and the Defense Department, and the intelligence services. 

But then as that maturity happened, you now had this situation after the 2016 election where they said, okay, now the entire international order might come undone. Seventy years of unified foreign policy from Truman until Trump are now about to be broken. And we need the same analog control systems. We had to be able to put bumper cars on bad stories or bad political movements through legacy media, relationships and contacts. We now need to establish and consolidate within the social media companies. An initial predicate for that was Russiagate. But then after Russiagate died and they used a simple democracy promotion predicate, then it gave rise to this multi-billion dollar censorship industry that joins together the military industrial complex, the government, the private sector, civil society organizations, and then this vast cobweb of media allies and professional fact-checker groups that that serve as this sort of sentinel class that surveys every word on the internet.

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngellhttps://www.conservativewoman.co.uk
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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