The “Discord Leaks” are making the rounds as the big new event of the past couple of weeks. The controversy is over the ‘leaks’ of strategic briefing documents detailing US future plans for the war in Ukraine. I’ve watched this story unfold with a weather eye but wanted to wait to see how it would progress before commenting.
I know, not going for the click-bait at the height of the anxiety-pimping is a rare thing these days.
This morning Kit Knightly at Off Guardian put out a strong post on the disinformation process that I believe is worth your time. Even though I disagree with his conclusion, or more precisely leave myself open to a different conclusion, his Disinfo Radar isn’t far off from the calibration zero-point.
This leak has all the hallmarks of being a fake, by Kit’s 5 point heuristic, a heuristic I think has value, just not singular value. This ‘leak’ doesn’t fit this model because of other responses to it. Because in order to sweep it into the corner, it burned the media as information gatekeeper in ways that those with power never do. More on that later.
Black is the new Red
For now let’s focus on the black-pilled, those that live in a perpetual state of cynicism. For them it is easy to just dismiss this event the way Kit does, as something to shift the Overton Window in such a way as to reinforce the narrative they want you engaged in –in this case maneuvering us into supporting another war for globalism.
It’s all content designed, in the parlance of social media, to boost engagement. Because the system has adapted, they don’t manufacture consent anymore – they farm participation. Angry refutation and warm praise record the same in the algorithm. They don’t want your agreement, they want your attention. And when they feel the story is losing the audience, well, here’s some super secret facts you aren’t supposed to know.
This is an excellent point that I agree with, in theory. Yes, they use multiple approaches to move public opinion. Yes, they like to hand out red pills to the normies to give them the cheap dopamine hit of ‘figuring stuff out.’
But, here’s the thing about this type of insight, it’s its own form of psy-op.
Formally identifying this gives the disinformation brokers the flexibility to use both of these techniques (and other techniques) to keep people like Kit and fellow travelers like Whitney Webb and others focused on trying to figure out which one it is.
I hate to single Whitney out here because I genuinely like her and believe she’s an honest broker, but I have to because of her current obsession, Jamie Dimon, which I’ve been asked about by so many people (again, more on that later),
The thing to observe is when they figure it out, they will write, talk and text about it.
It drives traffic, gives positive feedback, and has all the appearance of both real journalism and sincerity (which, by the way, I’m not doubting) but is it for the right reason?
It looks to me like chum for smart people to feel clever and one step ahead of the bad guys. The positive feedback drives subscriber and revenue growth reinforcing the idea of work well done.
But is it really? Or are they just rats chasing the trail laid for them by the cheese mongers?
I say this as someone acutely aware of their own personal tendency to doing just that. It’s not hard to fall down the wrong rabbit hole, obsessed with facts but not what they mean…
This is why all heuristics in an information space as polluted as this one need constant error checking.
Conversing With Tyrants
Uncovering the techniques of control are just uncovering the mechanics. In this case, however, it looks like it is uncovering the agenda, but I don’t think that’s the case here.
Ultimately, it brings to mind Gene Hackman’s ultimate fate in Coppola’s classic movie The Conversation, playing his saxophone in the ruin of his apartment secure he’s satisfied his paranoia.
For all of his skills and brilliance, rather than be an asset, he’s been taken off the board chasing shadows.
That’s the trap of focusing on the what (the corruption) and the how (the mechanisms) but not the why.
This is a serious issue going forward.
Distrusting those with power goes without saying. We’re all operating in this space with this basic drive. No doubt, there. It’s our duty to uncover truths, but it’s also important to question our own frameworks, lest we become reflexive repeaters of the very disinformation we believe we are uncovering.
So, in this case to dismiss the Discord Leaks as just another control technique may feel right but be completely wrong because it assumes the basic fallacy of this period of history, that there is only one big club vying for control over the West.
The Division Hell
I’ve produced a lot of content making the case for a counter revolution within the US power hierarchy. The basic premise is that as groups approach existential threats to their power and/or position they will react in predictable ways to maintain their power.
It isn’t complicated. But it does mean that corrupt people may act in ways counter to how they reacted previously, forsaking old relationships. I’ve never believed group identity is eternal because I don’t believe cartels are anything other than meta-stable based on mutual coincidence of wants.
Because of that we have to remain open for people to surprise us with moves that seem out of character.
Only the most ideologically nihilistic would pursue Davos’ path. Only those with a hatred of humanity born of a deep wellspring of love for all things Malthusian would bring us to this point. [inviting open war between nuclear-armed powers]. And to deny that there’s anyone in a position to oppose this from our side of the new Berlin Wall is just surrender masquerading a cynicism. [emphasis mine]
To understand how fragile Davos really is I put it to you like this: For the price of a few hundred basis points, the Fed forced a coup in the UK, the ECB into a tightening cycle with more yield curve control, likely blew up FTX and its burgeoning offshore crypto-dollar Ponzi Scheme, and forced the Swiss National Bank to intervene against the bank run on Credit Suisse.
And this brings me back to the Pentagon Papers. It is the height of lunacy to believe there aren’t people out there honestly trying to stop this train before it stops at World War III. To dismiss the leak as just another brick in the imperial wall while not seriously considering the idea that it was done by patriots in the Pentagon is honestly irresponsible.
Because you can construct that argument very easily, especially given how over-the-top the response was by the “Biden” administration. Do you think John Kirby is really that good at misdirection and misinformation?
In fact, his exchange with the media is a major tell that this was not something on the administration’s whiteboard. When the media openly asks how they can help (seemingly supporting Kit’s point #1) we have crossed into new territory. Why?
Because it’s never been that way before. Yes, we knew the media were court stenographers, people like myself and Kit have known this for more than a decade. But to openly torch what’s left of their credibility to support disinformation to keep the administration’s secrets is something very very new.
This wasn’t some double-secret 12-D chess maneuver by hyper-competent game players. This was far more what it looked like on the surface, a sphincter-clenching moment of raw panic from people whose lies were outed in pure damage control mode.
Here’s a better question that’s been going around for days now, How can the FBI find the leaker so quickly when they can’t find their ass with a map and both hands when it’s something they want to keep secret?
Is your worldview so black that you can’t even consider that this straight from shitlib Central Casting 21-year-old “gun enthusiast” (like that’s even a pejorative) wasn’t fed to them as chum to make their response look as insane as it was?
That doesn’t look like panic to you?
Seriously, if this kid was as much of a misguided patriot as he was portrayed you don’t think he wouldn’t lean in and take one for the team for a commanding officer he respects trying to stop the US military from being railroaded into another war it couldn’t win?
I’m not saying it’s true. What I’m saying is you can’t discount that possibility to zero, or even not consider it as highly likely just because your cynicism is your defense mechanism against disappointment.
You see in my world the MIC is terrified of everyone finding out that their weapons don’t work. The Dept. of Defense is equally terrified of us finding out they’ve spent trillions on imperial welfare and not very much on actual military preparedness, or that Obama and company have purposefully left it a shell.
What should scare you more is why that was allowed to happen and for whom was that a strategic goal?
Talk about a question no one in D.C. wants to face!
Even if you believe the whole thing is just a massive grift to keep fleecing the Muppets for annual appropriations, it doesn’t track then that they leaked these plans to sell more weapons.
Because it would be a one and done deal. Sell weapons for a few quarters into a sovereign debt and currency crisis to lose a war (or two) which culminates in the complete humiliation of the US military.
No way would patriots within the Pentagon and the MIC grifters go for this strategy. The incentives do not line up.
Talk to the Unseen Hand
In the same way, as I’ve argued for nearly two years, the incentives for Wall St. and the Fed do not line up either. Which brings me back to Whitney Webb and JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Whitney is making the rounds with her latest expose on the connections between Dimon and Jeffrey Epstein.
I’m not commenting on the quality of Whitney’s work or her motives behind it.
The timing on this is, of course, coincident with Dimon’s legal troubles over the same issue, which we know is a highly politicized issue. Now, if there is one person who has the pull and the power to support the Fed’s moves to regain control over its monetary policy it is Jamie Dimon.
As such, Dimon then represents one of the biggest threats to Davos’ desired outcomes of a future dominated by full surveillance over all financial activity via CBDCs. Make no mistake, I don’t trust Dimon as far as I could throw him, but I also know that he is a fulcrum on which a lot of future plans rest.
So, to me, his new legal troubles are a counter-move against him, in a classic ‘nuts and sluts’ campaign to pressure him out of his position. If you think JPM is a monolith then you have a simplistic view of organizations. It isn’t. There are plenty of people at JPM who would sell Dimon down the river for a whole lot less than thirty pieces of silver.
If Davos can’t get rid of Jerome Powell at the Fed then Dimon is the next best target.
This isn’t to say that Whitney shouldn’t inform us of Jamie Dimon’s connections, his past, etc. But proving Dimon is dirty is like proving the sun rises in the East. His recent comments in JPM’s annual report about using eminent domain to procure stable energy for the future is easily explained.
Wall St. loves a one-sided trade and setting monetary policy. There is a healthy probability that Powell may lose the political fight on Capitol Hill and JPM will need to support moronic Climate policies or face extinction, so throwing a bone to the Davos crazies makes sense. But his position that oil needs significant investment is also simultaneously genuine.
Everyone focused on the solar farms and windmills but Dimon’s statement also included the only thing you would actually use eminent domain for… pipeline. And pipelines are a big Davos no-no.
The real job of the journalist/analyst is to ask why is it that all of a sudden we know of Dimon’s past associations with Epstein?
Who’s seeding that into the zeitgeist? If you’re going to take the bait and ‘expose the real Jamie Dimon’ then shouldn’t you also ask why someone is putting that idea in your head?
If you’re really interested in the truth then you would always keep your radar for such stuff in good working order.
But if Dimon really is a WEF/Davos stooge then why is he being pursued in a kangaroo court similar to what Donald Trump is currently going through (also an Enemy of Davos) and what was done to Matteo Salvini in Italy over his migrant policy.
No one is out there defending Jamie Dimon as the victim of a Soros-backed smear campaign because he’s the epitome of what is hated in the world right now: a rich, white guy, CEO of the most powerful bank in the world.
Ask yourself who benefits from taking him down?
If Dimon was a Davos stooge as Whitney suggests then why aren’t his legal troubles going away rather than seemingly multiplying?
This is the core of one of my basic heuristics in trying to parse real information from the fake, what are they trying to make me believe about what’s in front of me? Do I believe that?
Why is it being amplified through the response engines of social media?
This is especially relevant knowing full well that the reason Dimon is on the hot seat in the first place is because he’s openly defied Davos’ Climate Change orthodoxy by echoing Powell’s ‘higher for longer’ rhetoric, his firm being at the forefront of the transition from a Eurodollar system backed by LIBOR to a new US-focused system built on SOFR, and his going to Davos 2023 this year and proclaiming that oil will be with us for the next fifty years.
In the end the conversation we should be having isn’t over who did what before the game reached its terminal phase but who they will become when theirs is the head on the chopping block and why?
And that’s the real heuristic needed to parse where things are headed and who’s on which side of the ledger.
EDITED: Pentagon Papers removed as they are now the “Discord Leaks”
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Great column! All the evidence is on your side. Search Google News for the generic phrase, “United States Foreign Policy”, then check the first 50 or so articles that show up. A good many of them indicate that reality is starting to dawn on our elites, mirroring the Seven Stages of Grief. My favorite, from the NYT was:
Opinion | How Biden’s Foreign Policy Could Isolate America
This creates a challenge for anyone intent on organizing U.S. foreign policy around current progressive values. Maybe you can unite our closest allies, our liberal imperium’s rich and aging core, around that kind of ideological vision. But you run a real and growing risk of alienating everybody else.
It is worth reading the entire article through one of the archive sites. As usual, the article’s original title was changed after publication to something less alarming to the NYT readership.
I can’t believe the whole Jamie Dimon / Epstein saga. Are we really going to do this again? (yawn)
Decades-long ties to Madoff cost JPMorgan $2.6 billion
This happens so often that banks ought to demand that any elite Uniparty associated individual, who wants a bank account, needs to buy an INSURANCE POLICY to cover the bank in the event of an ex post facto investigation. At some point it will be too much of a risk to allow any of our elites to bank. (hehehehe)
Whitney Webb and lesser versions like James Corbett strike me as freedom lovers with their heart in the right place, but mired too much in excruciating detail for no reason at all. Their main points are correct — that ALL the major players are evil and are destroying the world, but their lengthy presentation of detail and ad nauseam writing style just serves to prove that very point which the readers already knew to be true. So basically they spend endless hours of their own lives in painstaking research and careful presentation of facts, much like a published research paper, which in the end doesn’t move the needle towards freedom one millimeter. So, is that work something which deserves respect? I don’t think so. I respect their characters, intelligence, abilities, and their motivation, but by not seeing the bigger picture they often end up as useful geniuses for the evil which they despise. And let’s be honest, like all of us in the freedom sphere, there’s a lot of ego involved too. …”look how smart I am, I’ve got it all figured out and the vast majority didn’t, the world could be changed if only everyone else weren’t so stupid”… It’s hard not to have an ego when that’s all true.
That is a great encapsulation of my main critique of most libertarians in the real world. Thank you for this
Lewfalo: I agree with you 100% about Webb et al. I think the reason I became a GG&G follower was because Tom tends to write only when he has something new to teach or show us. But the thing that I have come to realize is that Tom’s work is too advanced for most people… like how a graduate course on electrochemistry might appear to someone without freshman chemistry. I have spent countless hours trying to understand things like SOFR, LIBOR, “money is tokenized energy”, “money flows where it is treated best”, etc. (inspired by podcasts 75-77, which were just jaw dropping, IMHO) So, when I see what Webb is doing, I get the same feeling… “serves to prove that very point which the readers already knew to be true”. However, if you put yourself in the shoes of a “normie” or “newbie” they don’t know what we know and haven’t spent the hours with the material that we have. So, when I see Webb’s work, I understand it to be for that audience. IMHO
I don’t know if it is just me, but I find myself listening to hours of podcasts, that repeat a lot of what I already know, with the realization that within those hours will be one piece of information that I didn’t know that will clarify something I was struggling to understand… so the payoff was worth it in the long run. But that is the scientist in me; I think it is an acquired taste/habit to be able to spend months or years in a laboratory for one five-minute “ah h!a” moment that clarifies everything.
Tom’s (and Dexter and the rest of the GG&G crew) work tends to eliminate a lot of those laboratory/podcast hours and gets the “ah ha!” moments much more quickly. IMHO
What Tom and Dexter have produced is unique. I’ve been consuming libertarian material for over 30 years. I’ve only seen original takes on things from less than a handful of people among hundreds of writers. And most of those hundreds are either nauseating self-important academics and/or hypocrites working for government institutions (I would include most Misesians in that, except for Gary North). Tom has developed something very special which I don’t think anyone will be able to replicate. Others may take his ideas and run with them, but those ideas originated with GG&G. I think folks like Whitney get lost in their self-image as investigative reporters, who are uncovering fascinating details and facts, with no other goal or big picture in mind. There is no payoff for their detailed work, just obscure facts about the people in power that few journalists except them have uncovered. Well, what do those facts tell us? Nothing we already didn’t know — the people in charge are evil, so who cares. Plus I find reading her 10,000 word investigative reports less interesting than watching paint dry. However, nothing any of these folks write is for the normies, or the bulk of society. Normies are, always have been, and always will be unable to think, and devoid of any moral compass or character. That’s why the elite have been so adept at controlling them ever since human society has existed.
I would have to respectfully disagree with that. At some point some “normies” (not all) do get off the bus and have to have something ROCK SOLID and DETAILED to stand on.
Good luck trying to talk to University students or colleagues about holes is the Climate Change narrative without being able to authoritatively bring up things like: USCRN, UAHv6, HadCRUT5, CMIP6, ENSO, EACRU, Bristlecone Pines, Sporer Minimum, Bary-centrism, Argo Floats, etc. In that arena, speaking from experience, you need to have complete command of the science and the details. For example:
Lec 1 | MIT 3.091SC Introduction to Solid State Chemistry, Fall 2010
For the first part of my career, I taught Climate Science out of the textbook, believing in the peer review process, thinking the textbook was as solid as any general chemistry textbook. It was only after “uncovering fascinating details and facts” that were buried in thousands of pages of scientific journals that I changed my mind and only then was I able to persuasively persuade others. I have had many students come to me years later, thanking me for presenting both sides of the climate debate.
You never know when you will need one of those minor details. For example, why is arsenic so toxic? If you know that it falls under phosphorus on the periodic table, one can deduce that Phosphate (found in ATP) can be mimicked by Arsenate, to the detriment of cellular respiration.
I agree with most of what you said, but strongly believe that folks like Webb are needed, because eventually the facts and details will matter to someone. All IMHO
I agree with you that it’s necessary to have facts and information at your command, and I would add that it’s necessary to have them just for yourself, your own enrichment and your own sanity so you can be sure about what you believe to be objectively true or false. However, I would argue that those students you reached would have found the truth without you or any other singular particular source of truth. They were not persuaded by you, per se, they were truth seekers and came to their conclusions by exposure only…not persuasion. Education is never the answer, because education is mainly indoctrination. Anyone who can be persuaded by truth can just as easily be persuaded out of that truth. What is necessary is self-education, or being a truth seeker by nature. You sought out truth yourself, as you indicated, by searching and digesting scientific journals. People like you and your good students take advantage of truth where they can find it; and a truth seeker will always find it no matter the source. A brilliant essay that helped me come to this conclusion is “Isaiah’s Job” by Albert Jay Nock. Nock coined the term “the Remnant” for seekers of truth with the moral character to recognize that truth and put it into practice in their lives. Nock was one of those original thinkers I was referring to in my earlier post. You definitely sound like one of the Remnant to me. Thanks for the dialogue.
Thanks for the conversation also, but you give me far too much credit. I was simply correcting what I had erroneously taught previously, with the other side of the argument, which seemed to be helpful to some of my students in sorting out their position on the issue. As far as the reference to the Remnant and the masses, I have not heard that before, so I will give Jay Nock a look. Thanks for the reference!
Thanks for the reminder Tom.
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