Thursday, July 16, 2020

Bill Barr, China, And ... Twitter

Today AG Barr gave a major speech on the threat that China poses to our constitutional order and way of life. The timing is obviously connected to President's foreign policy initiatives in the South China Sea. It may also presage a major campaign theme, given what we know of the Biden family's collusion with Red China over decades and involving vast sums of money.

You can read Barr's entire speech here. For my purposes, I'll quote a relatively short excerpt but one which emphasizes what can fairly be called the collusion of corporate America--particularly in the Tech/Media sector--with Red Chinese goals that are inimical to our constitutional order:

Although Americans hoped that trade and investment would liberalize China’s political system, the fundamental character of the regime has never changed.  As its ruthless crackdown of Hong Kong demonstrates once again, China is no closer to democracy today than it was in 1989 when tanks confronted pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square.  It remains an authoritarian, one-party state in which the Communist Party wields absolute power, unchecked by popular elections, the rule of law, or an independent judiciary.  The CCP surveils its own people and assigns them social credit scores, employs an army of government censors, tortures dissidents, and persecutes religious and ethnic minorities, including a million Uighurs detained in indoctrination and labor camps. 
If what happened in China stayed in China, that would all be bad enough.  But instead of America changing China, China is leveraging its economic power to change America.  As this Administration’s China Strategy recognizes, “the CCP’s campaign to compel ideological conformity does not stop at China’s borders.”[13]  Rather, the CCP seeks to extend its influence around the world, including on American soil. 
All too often, for the sake of short-term profits, American companies have succumbed to that influence—even at the expense of freedom and openness in the United States.  Sadly, examples of American business bowing to Beijing are legion. 
Take Hollywood.  Hollywood actors, producers, and directors pride themselves on celebrating freedom and the human spirit.  And every year at the Academy Awards, Americans are lectured about how this country falls short of Hollywood’s ideals of social justice.  But Hollywood now regularly censors its own movies to appease the Chinese Communist Party, the world’s most powerful violator of human rights.  This censorship infects not only versions of movies that are released in China, but also many that are shown in American theaters to American audiences. 
For example, the hit movie World War Z depicts a zombie apocalypse caused by a virus.  The original version of the film reportedly contained a scene with characters speculating that the virus may have originated in China.  ...  But the studio, Paramount Pictures, reportedly told producers to delete the reference to China in the hope of landing a Chinese distribution deal.  The deal never materialized.
These are just two examples of the many Hollywood films that have been altered, one way or another, to conform to CCP propaganda.

As it happens, Zerohedge is reporting on a NYT reporter whose tweet re forced sterilization by China of Uygher women was "flagged as suspicious":

Over the years, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple "have shown themselves all too willing to collaborate" with the Communist Party of China, Barr added. 
As if to underscore his point, just as Barr was speaking, one of the NYT reporters who was recently booted out of Beijing by the CCP complained that Twitter had censored one of his tweets about a horrifying forced sterilization campaign in Uygur women: 
Mike Forsythe
BIG DEAL: I just tried to retweet the AP story from late June on forced sterilizations of Uygur women after @letahong said she couldn't tweet it. Twitter just rejected my tweet, saying it had been "flagged as suspicious." WHAT is going on?

Twitter claims it was some sort of "bug."

Also today, in a story that doesn't appear to be linked to Barr's speech but coordinates nicely, Joy Pullmann at The Federalist writes:

Pullmann focuses especially on the harm the continued school lockdowns--seemingly a major goal of the Dem party at this point--is doing to students and to our broader society and economy, concluding in that regard:

Besides harming our country, shutdowns harm children. There is next to zero risk to children’s health of going back to school, as evidence from myriad first-world countries show. There is a massive risk to kids’ futures of depriving them of a good education. One estimate found keeping U.S. kids’ math knowledge to pre-pandemic levels instead of raising it to Canada’s would deprive them of an estimated 20 percent in additional income for every year of their lives that they work. 
Doing what China wants in continued lockdowns will not just hamstring American kids financially, it will bequeath them a far more dangerous world in which an aggressive, mass-murdering regime that deliberately sent a deadly virus abroad grows in power as their nation’s ability to deflect that power decays. In 20 years, America’s kids will not be impressed that we spared grownups some unsubstantiated unease in return for condemning the next generation to a much higher likelihood of poverty, a bankrupted social safety net, and a homeland at the mercy of a bloodthirsty global power. 
In urging lockdowns, therefore, U.S. media has amplified and helped implement Communist goals. The Chinese Communist Party endorsed, promulgated, and lobbied for strict lockdowns with the goal of kneecapping foreign competitors, including the United States.

What is Pullmann talking about?

She's referring to a NYT article that strongly suggests that China is using Twitter in a coordinated fashion as a propaganda platform--even as Twitter censors Americans who may be critical of China or--God help us--the Dem party. After getting past a lengthy cautionary introduction to the article, we read:

Still, The Times’s findings add to other recent evidence suggesting that Twitter is being manipulated to amplify pro-Beijing messages. Next Dim, a data firm in Israel, discovered two mundane-looking tweets praising China’s coronavirus response that were liked and reposted hundreds of thousands of times in March, possibly with the help of strategically placed influencer accounts. 
The U.S. State Department found inauthentic-seeming accounts that in April cited a Cambridge University study to raise doubts that the coronavirus originated in China. The most active of these accounts referred to the study in scores of tweets, even though the study’s lead author dismissed that interpretation of its findings. 
Neither Next Dim’s findings nor the State Department’s have been previously reported.

Very relevantly to Pullmann's overall thesis, the Chinese government appears to have been behind a Twitter campaign that sought to sell the world on the virtue of shutting down. That campaign began as far back as March. Here's an edited Twitter summary that Pullmann quotes (partially), but which I compared to the original:

1/5 This @nytimes article by @paulmozur is a smoking gun on the genesis of the coronavirus lockdowns. 
According to the article, the CCP launched a massive social media campaign in ITALY to advertise its coronavirus lockdown measures in early March. 
2/5 The fact that CCP’s disinformation campaign focused on Italy is crucial. Italy was the first country outside China to lock down. The rest of the world followed Italy’s lead. 
3/5 But CCP's campaign wasn't limited to Italy. The article states that this Tweet advertising China's lockdown policy to the world is fake. It has 142,000 likes.
Tweets like this prove CCP was actively selling the world on Wuhan-style lockdowns in early March.

4/5 Next, if you search for the URL of that fake Tweet you'll find it retweeted by many accts around the world. 
Each acct is suspicious—they Tweet incessantly about COVID until Floyd's death, then solely BLM. 
5/5 The sheer scale of this operation and the number of accounts involved, and its influence around the world, is really remarkable. 
Thousands of accounts tweeting incessantly about COVID hysteria, then pivoting to incessant BLM and anti-police propaganda, in every country. 
6/5 The day after @paulmozur's NYT article was published, @Twitter suspended over 170,000 fake Chinese accounts. 
But none of the fake accounts involved in the ring described above were suspended. This problem is much larger than Twitter acknowledges. 
7/5 More than 50 NIH scientists fired due to China ties. Hundreds more under investigation. 
By co-opting scientists and academics while aggressively promoting lockdowns through social media propaganda, China made lockdown pseudoscience seem sound. 
Fifty-four scientists have lost their jobs as a result of NIH probe into foreign ties
New data reveal extent of ongoing investigation 
8/5 Though CCP's influence operations in media, politics, and academia were surreptitious, its stance in support of global adoption of COVID lockdowns was explicit. Here is China's foreign spokesperson promoting strict social distancing among children:

9/5 In speech this morning at @HudsonInstitute, @FBI director Chris Wray says CCP specifically approached local politicians to endorse its COVID lockdowns.

10/5 "in fact, we have heard from federal, state, and even local officials that Chinese diplomats are aggressively urging support for China’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Yes, this is happening at both the federal and state levels."

In light of all this it would seem that the hack of Twitter last night ...

On Wednesday Twitter accounts belonging to Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, Mike Bloomberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and other high profile people with blue checkmarks were taken over by ‘hackers.’ 
The hackers used the accounts to request money be sent to a Bitcoin wallet, which raked in tens of thousands of dollars in minutes. 
It turns out the ‘hacking’ was an inside job, according to tech reporters. 
The ‘hackers’ also revealed Twitter uses a panel to control accounts, shadowban and censor users. [Something that Jack Dorsey had denied to Congress.]

couldn't have come at a worse time for Twitter.

And now Reuters is reporting that the FBI "is leading a federal inquiry into the Twitter hacking." What else will the FBI learn about the way Twitter does business while they investigate the hack?


  1. Thank you. The very end, there's a knife in the back. Isn't the FBI already infiltrated by the Chinese? I mean, not direct Chinese agents, but they've been known to give democrats a free pass while swat raiding republicans.

  2. Twitter wasn't hacked anymore than Podesta's emails were hacked. Both happened due to the human factor. China has long meddled in our elections (anyone remember the Chinese-Clinton campaign finance connection from Bill Clinton times?).

    I will be curious how the Twitter compromise is sold. It was left leaning icons who were targeted. The possibility of China stirring up Russian hacking conspiracies certainly crossed my mind. It strikes me as curious how incurious the Democrats are to the meddling threat of China, as if Russian meddling is a false flag.

    1. True. There saying that it was an employee who sold his access. The question, as you say, is: to whom and for what reason? Was it solely for the money and the perp figured Lefties were dumb enough to fall for the scam? Or was there more to it?

  3. Twitter's false flag to set the stag for shutting down Trump's account at a strategic moment.

  4. "Literally Thousands of Doctors and Scientists Have Come Out Against Fauci’s Lockdowns Including a Nobel Prize-Winning Biophysicist. The Media Just Doesn’t Want You to Know"

  5. I recall Hollywood changed one of Tom Clancy's books when they made the movie Sum of All Fears. The villains were changed to neo-Nazis from Arabs. Probably didn't want to offend any of our erstwhile allies so close after 9-11. And probably too early for the Chinese to have had any influence.


  6. I’m not surprised, China will do everything they can do to stop Trump from being re-elected.

  7. I did not know Bill Barr worked in the CIA, and his MA is in Chinese Studies - DOJ Biography