I'm surprised that UFOs weren't more central to the strategies behind the Trump Regime. I'm not knocking UFO's-- between 1969 and the early 1980s I had 3 encounters myself, encounters I remember but can hardly believe-- but usually the word "nut" ir automatically attached to the name of anyone talking to much about UFOs. Nevertheless, two Trumpworld figures, both former intelligence chiefs, Trump-hater John Brennan and Trump-worshipper John Ratcliffe are, according to a report in The Hill today, "among a small but steadily growing cohort of former government officials speaking candidly about a series of bizarre, unexplained encounters that occurred in American airspace in recent years."
Perhaps emboldened by groundbreaking reporting by the New York Times, interviews by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and the public disclosure of photos, videos and jaw-dropping pilot accounts of encounters with mysterious objects maneuvering in ways that defy the laws of physics and aerodynamics, Brennan and Ratcliffe’s recent comments are a remarkable-- and remarkably bipartisan. They break from decades of official deflection and inaction on unidentified aerial phenomena.
In March, Ratcliffe heightened public anticipation over a forthcoming government report on the military’s encounters, stating that “there are a lot more sightings than have been made public.”
Moreover, according to Trump’s former director of national intelligence, many of the craft “engage in actions that are difficult to explain, movements that are hard to replicate, that we don’t have the technology for” and travel “at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.”
Brennan, the former CIA director and Trump detractor extraordinaire, went further, speculating that the objects might “constitute a different form of life.”
Make no mistake: These are remarkable statements from two former top intelligence officials at polar opposite ends of the political spectrum.
But this UFOs-make-for-strange-bedfellows dynamic is not limited to the executive branch. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was instrumental in establishing a Pentagon unit charged with assessing the national security implications of the extraordinary technology that these objects appear to exhibit.
On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has spoken candidly about his concerns over unidentified craft flying over sensitive military sites. Government transparency advocates can also thank Rubio for requiring the Department of Defense to release a public analysis, due in June, of these unexplained phenomena.
Rubio and Reid’s bipartisan national security concerns are echoed by Luis Elizondo, the former head of a Pentagon unit that investigated military encounters with unidentified objects. As Elizondo rightly noted, the United States would find itself in the midst of a cataclysmic intelligence failure-- on par with 9/11-- if the unexplained objects belong to China or Russia. Indeed, any revelation that a foreign power has secretly developed such extraordinary technology would prompt an unprecedented reckoning among America’s national security community.
But after leading the Pentagon effort to assess these incidents, Elizondo-- in line with Brennan's musings about “different form[s] of life”-- speculates that “we may not be alone.”
Nor is it just Rubio. His progressive opponent, Alan Grayson, has been writing to his followers about the concept of "friendship" lately, which sparked a suggestion that people go back to an old episode of The Outer Limits, in which U.S. politics meets UFOs. You should watch it if you have time. It rocks-- and I'm certain Grayson will be writing about it himself:
But in terms of not being alone, it isn't just space aliens the U.S. has to worry about. The GOP has opened up our political system to foreign players who mean us no good-- and not just the Russians. The Washington Post published pretty startling report today by Jeanne Whalen, Craig Timberg and Eva Dou about a Chinese crony of Bannon's who is up to not good here. "A sprawling online network tied to Chinese businessman Guo Wengui," they wrote, "has become a potent platform for disinformation in the United States, attacking the safety of coronavirus vaccines, promoting false election-fraud claims and spreading baseless QAnon conspiracies, according to research published Monday by the network analysis company Graphika." Guo, more accurately described as a fugitive than a businessman, is using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Gab, Telegram, Parler, and Discord to spread his poisonous GOP propaganda.
Last year Bannon was arrested on Guo's yacht on federal fraud charges. Guo, somewhat unhinged, made his billions as a notoriously crooked real estate developer in China and now lives in the U.S. The Post reporters wrote that "The Graphika report 'is an important forensic analysis of the ways that rich and politically motivated people can manipulate social media,' said Joan Donovan, director of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center... Guo is the featured speaker in many of the videos and texts disseminated by the network, including some that have sought to undermine the scientific consensus about the causes and remedies of the coronavirus pandemic. In a video posted in April on GNews, a media website Guo has publicly suggested he helped establish, Guo calls vaccines against the coronavirus 'fake' and 'poison.' Images disseminated by the network on Instagram have portrayed coronavirus vaccines as grenades, bullets and handguns. Another meme that circulated on Instagram in January warned, 'Don’t trust the vaccine, the medical industry is completely controlled by a special interest.'"
Dozens of corporate entities, media organizations and activist groups participate in the network, Graphika said, including Saraca Media Group Inc., a Delaware-registered company that is listed as the entity offering the GNews and GTV apps in Apple’s App Store. Saraca also owns Guo Media, an entity that agreed to pay Bannon an annual fee of $1 million for consulting services, according to a 2018 contract published by Axios.
...Guo also refers to Bannon as a GTV board member in the video. Bannon didn’t respond to a request for comment, but in the past has called Guo “the toughest Chinese opponent the CCP has ever encountered.”
Last year, GNews quoted Guo as saying, “Our GNews viewer and registration numbers grow by multiples every week. … The chance for our products to grow rapidly and make an enormous profit is boundless!”
Teng Biao, a Chinese dissident and human rights scholar at Hunter College in New York, who was harassed at his New Jersey home for weeks last year by protesters he said were sent by Guo, said the Graphika research is particularly valuable in identifying the various companies and entities that appear to be working in tandem.
“Guo and his media have played a very active role in spreading misinformation related to Chinese and American politics and society,” Teng said. In addition to circulating broadly in English, the material “has significantly polluted the public discussion on Chinese-language social media,” including the popular WeChat app, he added.
The protests at Teng’s home began after Guo recorded videos encouraging his followers to “eliminate” roughly 20 people he deemed “traitors,” including Teng. Other dissidents named in the videos reported being targeted by similar protests that on one occasion turned violent, The Post previously reported.
...Guo supporters who help produce and spread the network’s memes and videos are a combination of volunteers and paid workers who refer to themselves as “ants,” working for what Guo has called a movement of “whistleblowers” challenging Chinese government power, Graphika said. The researchers titled their report, “Ants in a Web: Deconstructing Guo Wengui’s Online ‘Whistleblower Movement.’”
The “ants” appear to coordinate their work on chat apps, including Discord, WhatsApp and Telegram, and to post content across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites, Graphika said. The researchers found identical posts appearing almost simultaneously from different Facebook accounts, a sign of tight coordination. But the researchers came to believe this work was not “inauthentic,” a term meaning that those posting content are not expressing their own views-- often a trigger for takedowns or other enforcement actions.
Accounts said to be part of the network have faced sporadic sanctions by social media companies, including the closing of 150 Twitter accounts for “spam and platform manipulation” during the 2020 presidential election. Graphika found concerted efforts to sidestep platform rules by, for example, posting modified web addresses that would not face automatic bans by Facebook or Twitter.
...Graphika said the Guo-affiliated network became more involved in U.S. political activity in the run-up to the November election. On Sept. 25, Lude Media, an online program that Graphika identified as part of the network, began reporting about allegedly damaging content purportedly recovered from Hunter Biden’s computer-- three weeks before the New York Post became the first news organization to report on the topic, Graphika said.
GNews also published many negative claims about Hunter Biden, including false allegations that he engaged in child sexual abuse.
After the election, content across the network embraced President Donald Trump’s false election-fraud claims and the related #StoptheSteal hashtag, and promoted Trump’s plans for a Jan. 6 rally in Washington, Graphika found. During the rally and subsequent storming of the U.S. Capitol, GTV featured live streams of the action, which Guo supporters promoted on social media, along with material calling members of the mob “patriots.”
Later, GNews and other wings of the network pushed false conspiracies that the violence was the work of antifa, Graphika found.
Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Graphika said the network has amplified the unsubstantiated claim that China purposely manufactured the virus as a bioweapon. Chinese scientist Li-Meng Yan, whose spreading of unproven claims about the origins of the novel coronavirus sparked a pitched backlash among American medical researchers last year, is regularly featured in content and has openly affiliated herself with two nonprofits that Guo announced he was founding in 2018.
Posts on the network have pushed the use of the unproven treatment hydroxychloroquine to fight covid-19-- GNews published comments from Guo saying he himself has taken the drug-- and repeatedly attacked the safety of coronavirus vaccines.
One video released on GNews in April by a Himalaya farm in Toronto said Chinese authorities “quickly developed and exported another biochemical virus in the form of a vaccine.” The video included images of the AstraZeneca vaccine and clips of Guo saying “How many people will die? The vaccine is a real poison,” and “The vaccines are all fake… There is no vaccine, never ever. Because it is the bioweapon.”
Graphika said the network also has “continuously amplified QAnon-aligned content,” including by posting an “extensive collection” of QAnon videos on GTV.
...Graphika said the network also includes the Rule of Law Foundation and the Rule of Law Society-- two nonprofits that Guo said he was launching in 2018. Bannon was to lead the Rule of Law Society, which would be backed by a $100 million donation from Guo, the two men said at a news conference at the time.