The Terrifying War on 'Disinformation'

5 April 2023
by Fred Elbel

It should be evident to everyone at this point that the deep state is real and the integration of government and high tech is pervasive and detrimental. Jacob Siegel wrote an in-depth expose, A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century - Thirteen ways of looking at disinformation, Tablet, 29 March 2023. Siegel elucidates how we are entering a new phase of government "that is as different from mid-twentieth century liberal democracy as the early American republic was from the British monarchism that it grew out of and eventually supplanted."

The article is extensive, and is rather serious but important reading. As an introduction to the article, you might read this short summary by NewNeo: The clever and highly-coordinated - and terrifying - war on "disinformation", 1 April 2023. She writes:

That's the very same group [the ruling elites] that the brilliant Thomas Sowell has been writing about for nearly three decades. He has called them "the anointed" and emphasized that being in error over and over again did not seem to make a dent in their arrogant assumption that they must rule.

Defending "democracy" is their cry, although they don't define it (sometimes it's "our democracy"). That justifies almost anything, including ending liberty. Without liberty, what is "democracy"? What remains is not just "tyranny of the majority" (although there's certainly that, too); it's tyranny of the elite minority.

The left believes liberty is dispensable at this point. It's just too threatening...

... the total inversion of the idea of liberty. It's where our leftist "elites" have arrived, and technology - particularly AI, which the article discusses at length - gives them tools of control they never had before, far superior to the telescreen of Orwell's imagination...


Key excerpts from Siegel's article

Mainstream media and social media now collude with the "annointed" ruling elite. Siegel writes:

... Twitter's safety officer, Yoel Roth, privately admitted that his company was allowing "real people" to be "unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse." The Hamilton 68 episode played out as a nearly shot-for-shot remake of the McCarthy affair, with one important difference: McCarthy faced some resistance from leading journalists as well as from the U.S. intelligence agencies and his fellow members of Congress. In our time, those same groups lined up to support the new secret lists and attack anyone who questioned them....

One of the ways this has been orchestrated is that:

In his last days in office, President Barack Obama made the decision to set the country on a new course. On Dec. 23, 2016, he signed into law the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act, which used the language of defending the homeland to launch an open-ended, offensive information war....

Since 2016, the federal government has spent billions of dollars on turning the counter-disinformation complex into one of the most powerful forces in the modern world: a sprawling leviathan with tentacles reaching into both the public and private sector, which the government uses to direct a "whole of society" effort...

With the D.C.-Silicon Valley fusion, the federal bureaucracies could rely on informal social connections to push their agenda inside the tech companies...

As a consequence:

As a nation, America not only has learned nothing, it has been deliberately prevented from learning anything while being made to chase after shadows. This is not because Americans are stupid; it's because what has taken place is not a tragedy but something closer to a crime. Disinformation is both the name of the crime and the means of covering it up; a weapon that doubles as a disguise.

The crime is the information war itself, which was launched under false pretenses and by its nature destroys the essential boundaries between the public and private and between the foreign and domestic, on which peace and democracy depend....

Siegel explains that:

What we are seeing now, in the revelations exposing the inner workings of the state-corporate censorship regime, is only the end of the beginning. The United States is still in the earliest stages of a mass mobilization that aims to harness every sector of society under a singular technocratic rule.

He warns that:

The first phase of the information war was marked by distinctively human displays of incompetence and brute-force intimidation. But the next stage, already underway, is being carried out through both scalable processes of artificial intelligence and algorithmic pre-censorship that are invisibly encoded into the infrastructure of the internet, where they can alter the perceptions of billions of people...

A state organized on the principle that it exists to protect the sovereign rights of individuals, is being replaced by a digital leviathan that wields power through opaque algorithms and the manipulation of digital swarms. It resembles the Chinese system of social credit and one-party state control, and yet that, too, misses the distinctively American and providential character of the control system.

Siegel continues to expand thirteen points on how the disinformation war has metastasized. Here are a few excerpts:

On Trump:

Trump also threatened the business interests of the most powerful sectors of society. It was the latter offense, rather than his putative racism or flagrant un-presidentialness, that sent the ruling class into a state of apoplexy.

Given his focus in office on lowering the corporate tax rate, it's easy to forget that Republican officials and the party's donor class saw Trump as a dangerous radical who threatened their business ties with China, their access to cheap imported labor, and the lucrative business of constant war.

Siegel discusses the formation of the early internet and how it facilitated the war against "disinformation:"

Once upon a time, the internet was going to save the world. The first dot-com boom in the 1990s popularized the idea of the internet as a technology for maximizing human potential and spreading democracy... But the hype really went into overdrive when President Obama was elected through a "big data"-driven campaign that prioritized social media outreach...

It is a supreme irony that the very people who a decade ago led the freedom agenda for other countries have since pushed the United States to implement one of the largest and most powerful censorship machines in existence under the guise of fighting disinformation....

Siegel writes that as tech companies got too powerful, leaders of the ruling party opted to "preserve the tech companies' power while forcing them to drop the pretense of neutrality and instead line up behind the ruling party..." He describes how anti-terrorism measures are now accepted as commonplace against "domestic extremists":

After 9/11, the threat of terrorism was used to justify measures like the Patriot Act that suspended constitutional rights and placed millions of Americans under a shadow of mass surveillance. Those policies were once controversial but have come to be accepted as the natural prerogatives of state power.

And thus we saw the weaponization of information around the 2020 election. According to former State Department official Mike Benz:

To create a ‘whole of society' consensus on the censorship of political opinions online that were ‘casting doubt' ahead of the 2020 election, DHS organized ‘disinformation' conferences to bring together tech companies, civil society groups, and news media to all build consensus—with DHS prodding (which is meaningful: many partners receive government funds through grants or contracts, or fear government regulatory or retaliatory threats)—on expanding social media censorship policies.

Siegel notes that:

The vast majority of the interference in the election was invisible to the public and took place through censorship mechanisms carried out under the auspices of "election integrity.

Siegel defines the deep state:

The deep state refers to the power wielded by unelected government functionaries and their paragovernmental adjuncts who have administrative power to override the official, legal procedures of a government. But a ruling class describes a social group whose members are bound together by something deeper than institutional position: their shared values and instincts.

Siegel notes that there are many who believe that America must become less free and less democratic; it will require "outgrowing our parochial attachment to the Bill of Rights." He writes:

To a ruling class that had already grown tired of democracy's demand that freedom be granted to its subjects, disinformation provided a regulatory framework to replace the U.S. Constitution.


Interview with Jacob Siegel

Here is an interview with Jacob Siegel: The great "disinformation" hoax:

Transcript excerpt beginning at 29:55:

Siegel: One more thing that happens very early on, which is really critically important is on January 7 of 2017, [Jeh] Johnson, who is the head of the Department of Homeland Security, passes a measure that declares the electoral infrastructure of the United States critical infrastructure that is going to be federalized and protected by the government. So this happens after he's tried to do this for months. He runs into massive resistance. And you can read Johnson's own account, I quote Johnson in the piece, talking about how when he tried to do this, initially, local electoral officials were saying, 'You can't do this. This is a usurpation of our local sovereignty.'

So how does he do it? He just says, 'Okay, no problem.' And then he waits until he's almost out of office, and passes this. So now, the federal government and specifically Department of Homeland Security has control over the electoral infrastructure in the US. What that means is that because the internet is connected to election integrity, what it means... in effect is that this was a kind of coup.

And that under the pretext of foreign disinformation, a small, but very well organised coterie of political officials declared essentially unilateral power over the entire US political system. That's what it means.

And so they did this by seizing the commanding heights, like the electoral system, and like the social media companies themselves, where the intelligence agencies installed their own teams to monitor, effectively to monitor dangerous content, and then to push for what they wanted to censor.

Transcript closing excerpt beginning at 29:55:

Do you think these people populating all of these arcane institutions you've talked about that is now forming the network of the disinformation age? Are these good people who just think they're doing good things and have just got confused? Or do you think they're bad people?

Siegel: No, I think they're largely good people who think they're doing good things, and got confused.

So I don't think that it's really like half of the country versus the other half. That's not how I see it. I think that there's a very small, real core power elite ruling party in America, and that their great success and their great wickedness, in a sense, has been to use Information Operations and control over the narrative organs of society, to convince millions of people to join in their cause by making that cause as a source of primary identity.


Additional interview with Jacob Siegel

Tablet's Grand Opus on the Anti-Disinformation Complex - Interview with Jacob Siegel, author of "A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century", by Matt Taibbi, Racket News, 31 March 2023.

Listen to the audio version of this article: Tablet's Grand Opus on the Anti Disinformation Complex: