Saturday, April 1, 2017

Curiouser and Curiouser

A week ago, or so, Rachel Maddow showed how bots can be set up via Twitter and Facebook and multiple other cyber media outlets to respond to certain words.  The responses depended upon the media used, but could be a Tweet in response or a comment and it usually had a reference to another media spot - for an article, a video, or a discussion area.  I have a wide variety of interests and had noticed a few years ago that certain words seemed to elicit some odd-ball responses from several different types of media.  Rachel's informative segment on bots was highly illuminating, and, at the same time, a little freaky. In the past few years, if I don't personally know the person who sends a response, I simply do not click on any posted link.
   Yesterday, a former FBI special agent, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University was called upon to present his findings by the US Senate Intelligence Committee regarding Russian cyber interference with the US Presidential campaign last year.  Clinton Watts stole my heart and my intellect.  The man is well spoken, calm, collected and very erudite.  He explained the dissemination of disinformation and how it takes place in easily understandable terms.  He peeled away the layers of the onion domes of Moscow and their media in great detail.  It was a wonderful and spell-binding testimony.  And he expanded his views on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight.  I wish I was a student again.
   One of the intriguing points that Mr Watts brought up was the false information that Trump Campaign Manager  Paul Manafort threw out in a CNN interview on 14 August about a huge revolt and incident at the Incirlik NATO air base in Turkey, that was reported by Russian media and then spread by bots across the world at the end of July.  This was reported as false and misinformation by NATO, the FBI, NSA and the CIA in the first two days of August.  So why did Manafort bring up the "Bengahzi- style insurrection" that never occurred?  It's like 45 referring to the "incident Friday night in Sweden" that never happened...
   In July, retired General Michael Flynn led a chant of "Lock her up!" (referring to the Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton) at the podium of the Republican National Convention.  Yesterday evening, he went to the FBI and both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees asking for immunity from prosecution if he testified about what he knows about the 45th Administration's ties, meetings, and collusion with the Russian government.  All have decline to give Flynn immunity, especially since he was forced to resign as Chief of National Security because he was caught in multiple lies.  Flynn stated that if someone asked for immunity, then it seemed apparent they were guilty of something, back in September.  Hmmmmm.
   Yes, indeed - these are interesting and entertaining times.  How many people from the 45th Administration will escape impeachment and/ or imprisonment?  I can't wait to find out...

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