The Gatekeeper Files: Rise of the Alt-Right

The United States has faced an alarming rise in far-right politics and social media warfare since the moment Donald Trump announced his run for presidency in 2015, in what has become an overly-charged political atmosphere that has divided the country, pitted Americans against one another, and caused violence and mayhem in the streets. His accession to the White House only fanned the flames of extremism and if you’re wondering why we’re witnessing an explosion in alt-right politics, look no further than the internet.

Salon’s 2017 piece, “The Global History of the Alt-Right,” discusses France’s National Front, founded in 1972, and how it served as the “progenitor” and “archetype of the Alt-Right party,” by protecting “Western civilization from both its own decadence,” frequently suggesting that the Jews were destroying it from within, and “evil outside forces,” such as Islam and Communism. 

“Sunni supremacism,” a direct byproduct of U.S. foreign policy and the “War on Terror,” has driven American xenophobia as fewer and fewer remaining World War II veterans have been able to stop the rising tide of neo-Nazism and fascism.

“Political decency, a key post-war value meant to act as a breakwater against violent, thuggish politics, fell away; politicians and public figures could get away with saying increasingly outrageous things. Rightists felt no responsibility or connection with the Hitler era, and were less stung by the accusation by their enemies that they were behaving like Nazis.”

Others attribute the deluge of right-wing extremism to the continuation of centuries-old racism, internet algorithms, or a mixture of both. Jeff Manza from New York University wrote:

“The central alternative view is that Trump’s rise reflected his ability to capture racial resentments and anti-immigrant and anti-globalization, a package of beliefs known as ethnonationalism.”

But regardless of why this country has experienced a surge in Brown Shirts, alt-lite cocktails at 9pm with Sean Hannity, and increasingly startling behavior from a president who threatens sitting U.S. congresswomen, telling them to “go back” to their own country, right-wing extremism has always been here.

The rise of what Manza describes as Trump’s “ethnonationalism,” isn’t exactly the flag-hugging fascist’s baby; Trump merely repackaged far-right ideology into a brand of white nationalism palatable enough for White America to swallow and safe enough for bourgeoisie housewives and Trump bros to express—and that’s what makes Trump so dangerous. But this investigation isn’t about giving you a history lesson on something we already know crawled out from the sewer. 

Rather, this ongoing series will focus on the shocking coalescence of right-wing extremism, the community to free Julian Assange, and a political campaign notably tied to the CIA—an unholy alliance that has played out on social media and beyond.  A range of actors have played their role in perverse cooperation to sow seeds of disinformation and chaos during the course of a tangled, shameless operation to see through Trump’s assumption of power and Assange’s arrest and subsequent extradition. 

Naturally, however, those who have enjoyed their time at the top of the pecking order like Steve Bannon, the former executive of Breitbart News accused of laundering racial hate, and Erik Prince, both of whom are directly associated with influence campaigns, the Military-industrial complex and the U.S. Intelligence community, appear to have played a more influential role than others.

The Alt-Right Is Born

In 2005, William Regnery III, “the most influential racist you’ve never heard of,” co-founded the white supremacy think tank and lobbying group National Policy Institute (NPI), whose now-deceased chairman, Louis Andrews, once said that he voted for Obama in 2008 so that the “Republican party could be destroyed and reborn as a party representing the interest of white people and not entrenched in corporate elites.” In other words, white power’s idea of “draining the swamp.” The organization’s mission?

“To elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights. The institute…will study the consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity.”

Five years after the advent of Regnery’s hate group, Richard Spencer, a well-known neo-Nazi and white supremacist, launched an online magazine called, “The Alternative Right,” a term later shortened to “alt-right,” although it’s been alleged that he had already coined the term back in 2008. When NPI chairman and co-founder Louis R. Andrews died in 2011, Spencer replaced him and his website, AlternativeRight.com, became an NPI initiative.

That same year, 4chan launched its message board “/pol/,“ short for “politically correct,” which eventually became a dark haven for Trump supporters, racist screeds and a platform for social engineering operations like “FBIanon” and “Qanon.” As for Spencer, he emerged at the forefront of the white nationalist movement and one of the main figures among a group of alt-right “activists,” political commentators, and social media figures that helped drive Trump into the White House.

Stephen Bannon

By far, one of the most influential figures in the great Pepe campaign of 2016 appears to be Stephen Bannon. He’s a former naval officer as well as a political strategist, former investment banker, and movie producer. He’s also the former executive chairman of right-wing news outlet Breitbart News, a role he took over after its founder, Andrew Breitbart, died in March 2012. After his death, Bannon immediately began rebranding the outlet as a platform for the alt-right.

At the time of Breitbart’s death, he may have already been a member of a secretive group called the Council for National Policy (CNP), an ultra-conservative organization The New York Times once called a “staging ground for conservative efforts to make the Republican Party more socially conservative.” Members of this exclusive club, which appears to have close ties with the NRA, were described as “the most powerful conservatives in the country.”

Due to the secrecy of the organization, it remains unknown just how far to the religious right the group actually leans. According to a 2014 leaked membership roster, members at the time included “neo-Confederate” Michael Peroutka, a former board member of the white supremacist group, “League of the South,” and Jospeh Farah, who runs the far-right news site, WorldNetDaily. One of NPI’s co-founders, now-deceased Paul Weyrich, also co-founded the Heritage Foundation which publishes articles like this:

“Unlike the ethnic nationalism which scarred the last century, Trump’s nationalism is not directed internally against citizens deemed to belong to ‘foreign’ minority groups. Rather its primary targets are the foreign countries that take advantage of America on the world stage.”

One only needs to look so far to find Trump’s repeated attacks on minority groups and American Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, to realize that the articles Heritage Foundation spends its time publishing whitewashes the garbage that comes out of Trump’s mouth. 

Although CNP appears to operate in the shadows under a cloak of secrecy, members exposed over the years have included Bannon; Kellyanne Conway, now Senior Counselor to Trump; Jerome Corsi, who later became a central figure in the Roger Stone-WikiLeaks debacle; and the Mercers, who invested millions in Breitbart News and co-founded Cambridge Analytica in 2013.

According to The Washington Post, current U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the sister of Blackwater founder, Erik Prince, wasn’t listed as a member but their mother, Elsa Prince Broekhuizen served on the council’s board of governors and Betsy’s father-in-law served as president twice. Vice President Mike Pence became a member in 2017, and he doesn’t even try to hide it, illustrating just how safe the Trump administration has made it for people to advertise that they rub elbows with far-right extremists.

But irrespective of whether or not some secretive, religiously conservative group which boasts at least five Trump associates as members is, indeed, a think tank for white supremacy, Bannon himself declared Breitbart News a “platform of the alt-right” during the 2016 Republican National Convention, linking his own news site to the likes of neo-Nazis like Spencer and his white nationalist movement:

“The budding fascist had dubbed his own movement the ‘alt-right’ back in 2010, using it to describe a movement dedicated to marginalizing Jews and minorities from white nations, establishing authoritarian governments, and rolling back equal rights for men and women.”

Not that we didn’t see this coming. Three months before the RNC, Breitbart News published an article by Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial far-right political commentator and former editor of Breitbart, who wrote that the alt-right and its leaders like Spencer were “dangerously bright,” noting how the “French New Right also serve as a source of inspiration for many leaders of the alt-right.” Bannon would reportedly go on to tell the National Front, “Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.”

Cambridge Analytica

According to Steve Bannon, the first time he met Trump was in August 2010, during a 2-hour presentation he gave about a presidential run he was considering in 2012. In recently released documents dubbed the “Mueller Memos,” in reference to Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russiagate, Bannon told investigators that after Trump’s presentation he appeared on Bannon’s radio show and “did some things” for Breitbart News.

Three years after that initial meeting, Bannon met with Christopher Wylie, a twenty-something year-old who was working at the time for Nigel Oakes’ SCL Elections, a company dedicated to “influence and persuasion” campaigns. According to their website:

“We are in the business of measurable behavioural change. Unlike our competitors, we use advanced scientific research and social analysis techniques adapted for civilian use from military applications to better understand behaviour within electorates. Our unique, measurable and effects-based methodology developed by The Behavioural Dynamics Institute, enables us to understand how people think, and identify what it would take to change mindsets.”

Military applications, indeed. Nigel Oakes himself is behind the company, Behavioural Dynamics Institutes (BDI), which has worked first hand with NATO and the UK Defence Academy. They’ve also contributed articles and reports on “Strategic Communication for Combating Terrorism,” and how the military and NGOs should conduct large-scale information/propaganda operations.

“…wherever a problem of group behavior can be identified, the BDI can work to determine its primary causes, and precisely what (if any) kind of intervention would be most effective in bringing about sustainable behaviour change outcomes.”

The same year Oakes created BDI, sometime in the early 1990s, if not earlier—documents are murky—he also established Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) after BDI realized that there was a “need for an elite communications team who could work exclusively with governments to help resolve military and political issues.”“

In fact, the website openly admits that SCL is involved with military psyops and that ‘managing public opinion is perhaps the most important weapon in a government’s arsenal.’  Basically, SCL was created as an arm of BDI to work specifically with governments and the military on secretly changing public opinion. Nigel Oakes once famously said that the techniques they use are the same as Aristotle and Hitler.”

As I previously reported, SCL boasted in company documents that they were the “leading player in the creation, implementation and evaluation of complete strategic communication campaigns for government and military organisations worldwide,” they ran psychological operations in cooperation with the UK’s Ministry of Defence, and they won contracts with UK’s Foreign Office, the Pentagon, NATO, and even the U.S. State Department. One of their goals? To influence elections “around the world.”

So when Bannon met up with Wylie in 2013, who was working at the time for Nigel Oakes’ SCL Elections, this is what he walked into—a company led by a man with massive ties to government agencies and the Military-industrial complex, over two decades of experience running political and psychological operations, and an extensive background in influencing the general public.

Wylie eventually set up a meeting between Bannon and SCL director, Alexander Nix, after which Bannon, obviously enthralled with what Nix had to say, convinced billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, to meet with him, as well. By the end of 2013, Cambridge Analytica—an intelligence-linked data analytics firm directly involved in both Brexit and the early 2018 Facebook scandal—came to fruition with the help of a multi-million dollar investment from the Mercers. They, along with Nix and Bannon, headed up the company.

Prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Cambridge worked with Washington’s best known war hawk, John Bolton, and his Super Pac, as well as Ted Cruz’s campaign (Cruz shelled out over $5.8 million for their services), until they turned their attention to Donald Trump: 

“[W]hen Trump won the Republican nomination, the Mercer family, which had financially supported Trump’s Presidential bid, insisted that Trump put Bannon in charge of the campaign and bring in Cambridge Analytica, in which the family was heavily invested, as well.”

After the election, Cambridge Analytica’s chief data officer, Alexander Tayler, stated, “When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes but won the Electoral College vote, that’s down to the data and the research.”

Erik Prince

In addition to Steve Bannon, Erik Prince is another key figure who shows up over and over again both before and after the 2016 election.  He’s described as an  “American businessman, former U.S. Navy SEAL officer and founder of the government services and security company Blackwater USA, now known as Academi. He served as its CEO until 2009 and later as chairman, until Blackwater Worldwide was sold in 2010 to a group of investors.” As mentioned previously, he’s also the brother of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the son of Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, wife of the late billionaire Edgar Prince.

What you may not know is that prior to Blackwater, Prince interned for former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher after his assistant, Paul Behrends, landed him the job back in the early 1990s. In fact, after Prince founded Blackwater—a company that was awarded no less than $2 billion in U.S. government contracts—Rohrabacher’s assistant, no ordinary assistant by any means, went to work “extensively” for the company: 

“In addition to Blackwater and its founder’s next venture, the Prince Group, lobbying disclosures show Behrends also performed highly lucrative work for various defense contractors and mining interests, as well as Kuwaiti industrial firms and something called the “Destiny Democratic Movement,” which hired him to promote “free and fair elections in Nigeria.”

Behrends worked for Rohrabacher up until mid-July 2017, after which far-right political activist, Charles C. Johnson, and Rohrabacher visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London the following month. 

As for Blackwater, it was awarded highly lucrative government contracts during the Iraq war and hired as part of a secret CIA task force whose job it was to “locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda.” But Prince’s mercenary group eventually proved too much for the Obama administration after it became public they had been involved in both questionable and criminal behavior during the war. For example, on September 16, 2017, Blackwater employees shot and killed seventeen Iraqi civilians in what is now known as the “Nisour Square massacre.” 

Obama cut ties with Blackwater (after paying out millions to it), and Prince spent the next several years trying to rebrand himself. Blackwater was renamed Xe Services, but was eventually sold in 2010, and became Academi. Academi eventually merged with another security company to form the Constellis Group, which was later acquired by Apollo, a New York-based private equity firm.

After the sale of Xe Services, Prince poured himself into other security ventures in the UAE, China, and Africa. But after murky financial dealings, signs of embezzlement, unscrupulous corporate activity, and stolen equipment, he found himself facing one failed company after another, his image still tarnished and bruised. That is, until Trump came along. According to The Intercept,

“[T]rump was his best meal ticket in 2016. And that’s why he rode it hard and to that end, he was successful. He ends up being at the beginning of the administration, have carte blanche access to the White House. You know, meetings in the Seychelles with his previous benefactor, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi…”

According to the “Mueller Memos,” Steve Bannon met Prince years before the 2016 election, sometime between 2009-2010, while working on a film project he asked Prince to participate in. Within a few years, the two were speaking with each other approximately once a week, every few weeks, and Prince, like Donald Trump, started appearing on Bannon’s radio show. According to the Mueller investigation, those communications increased as the 2016 campaign got underway, including Prince frequently offering what Bannon described as “unsolicited ideas.”

Bannon also told federal investigators that Prince was seen visiting campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and it’s been reported that he attended at least two meetings at Trump Tower, one of which was before the election in August 2016. Attendees included Prince, Donald Trump Jr, an emissary for the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and Joel Zamel, founder of Psy-Group, an Israeli private intelligence agency that specializes in social manipulation.

Prince also traveled to New York at least 5-6 times although notes from the Mueller investigation don’t specify as to why or who he met while he was there. He’s also close with the Trump family, attending big game hunting trips with both Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., but he denies he was ever a member of Trump’s campaign team.  

When asked recently under oath as a witness in the Roger Stone trial, former FBI agent Michelle Taylor testified that Prince wasn’t part of the Trump campaign despite the fact that the Mueller investigation shows Prince was emailing Bannon “talking points” as early as September 2015, including ideas on how to change “the narrative to Clinton as an alternative to the stories in the news about Russian election influence.” 

According to Bannon, he also attended meetings with members of the campaign, was a “known entity in the campaign,” and was seen visiting the 14th floor of Trump’s campaign headquarters dubbed “the war room,” from August 2016 through Election Day. As Marcy Wheeler aka @emptywheel put it,

As recently as this past week, we also learned that the recipient of Roger Stone’s October 2016 email to “a contact” in the Trump campaign, “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming,” was Prince. So sure, Erik Prince, a self-proclaimed Libertarian and clearly a point of contact, may not have been a part of the Trump campaign officially but it appears he was, at minimum, a shadow adviser.

Peter Thiel

And then there’s Peter Thiel, another Libertarian with possibly more ties to the CIA and intelligence agencies than Erik Prince. Besides the fact that Thiel joined Trump’s transition team after the election, there’s two things you should know: He’s the founder of Palantir, a software and data analytics firm which you could probably safely describe as an arm of the U.S. intelligence community, and he once assisted the U.S. government in trying to take down WikiLeaks. According to MintPress News journalist Whitney Webb,

“In 2010, the U.S. government was left reeling following WikiLeaks’ publication of the Iraq War logs and other documents allegedly leaked by Chelsea Manning. Already a top government contractor at the time, Palantir, along with two other top technology companies contracted by the government — HBGary Federal and Berico Technologies – was tasked with developing a plan not only to silence WikiLeaks but to destroy it completely.”

But before Thiel ambitiously tried to burn WikiLeaks to the ground, he plotted on how to burn down the now-defunct, tabloid-style media outlet Gawker, after they deliberately outed him as gay in 2007. The public disclosure may have been a crappy move on Gawker’s part but it certainly wasn’t illegal and so Thiel retaliated by financing for years a lawsuit Hulk Hogan (yes, the wrestler) filed against the Gawker for publishing leaked videos of him having sex with his friend’s wife, with the hope of destroying them.

At the time, Hogan’s attorney, Charles Harder, was well-known for representing A-list Hollywood stars (he represented #MeToo predator Harvey Weinstein for a hot minute) but after he filed Hogan’s lawsuit, which was being heavily financed by Thiel, he opened a niche firm for clients specifically suing the Gawker. He later went on to represent Melania Trump against the Daily Mail in 2017 (she won a $2.9 million settlement); Jared Kushner against Vanity Fair; and Donald Trump in a defamation suit filed by Stormy Daniels.

Hogan’s lawsuit eventually destroyed the Gawker but before they imploded, an online harassment campaign called Gamergate which had been heating up in the late summer of 2015, brought Thiel into the orbit of the alt-right.

Gamergate 

Perhaps one of the most intriguing developments in this story is the 2014 Gamergate debacle which became the playbook for everything alt-right during the 2016 election—online mobbing, mass bullying, doxing, targeted smears, and more to silence the opposition, and in this case, the opposition was female gamers. 

“What began as a backlash to a debate about how games portray women led to an internet culture that ultimately helped sweep Donald Trump into office.”

Gamergate was sparked by an online blog post written by the former boyfriend of game developer, Zoe Quinn, who claimed that Quinn had slept with a reporter from Kotaku, an online site owned by Gawker Media LLC, in exchange for favorable reviews of her game, “Depression Quest.” The reporter had, in fact, never reviewed the game but that didn’t stop the rise of Gamergate which went beyond some imaginary review to the heart of an “internet culture war sparked when a group of women exposed what they saw as inherent misogyny in the production and culture of videogaming”

According to wired.com,

“This started as a legitimate debate with valid arguments on both sides…This exchange was quickly drowned out by a group of militant gamers who resented this intrusion into their sandbox and set out to prove they were not misogynistic by relentlessly attacking and harassing the women and anyone who supported them. The women were doxxed and threatened in graphic terms with rape and death, and some fled their homes.”

Cnet.com described the attacks as “the beginning of a cultural shift” and the “decline of civil discourse,”

“[I]nternet trolls, predominantly anonymous posters, realized they could work together to try to destroy the lives of people who disagreed with them.” 

Sound familiar? Again, online trolls went so far as to threaten rape, assassination, and doxing, and they “spread their message through memes,” and message boards like 4chan. It started in August 2014, and by November, former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, social media figure and anti-feminist Mike Cernovich, and Gawker contributor Sam Biddle joined the fray. Milo spent his time writing articles for Breitbart such as, “Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart,” while Cernovich encouraged gamers to dox their enemies. And then, sometime in mid-October, Biddle posted two tweets:

Gamergate came to a screeching halt while alt-right trolls took a hot second to decide on a course of action. In a serious move to hurt them financially, and hurt they did, gamers pressured Gawker’s advertisers to pull their business over Biddle’s tweets and they actually succeeded in getting large corporations like Adobe and Mercedes-Benz to pull out, costing Gawkerseven figures” in lost revenue when it was all said and done.

At the same time, Thiel was still waging his own war against Gawker and although it’s never been confirmed, there’s reason to believe that he had been involved in Gamergate on some level. Author Ryan Holiday who interviewed both Thiel and Aron D’Souza, an operative who allegedly provided Thiel with the “blueprint to covertly attack Gawker,” wrote, “The conspirators had nothing to do with starting Gamergate, but they undoubtedly fanned the flames.”

Interestingly enough, Charles C. Johnson, the far-right activist mentioned earlier who visited Assange in August 2017, and who would become a looming presence in the alt-right scene, was also in the middle of a $55 million lawsuit he himself had filed against the Gawker a few months prior to Gamergate. Months later he posted this statement on Facebook,

“I want to make you a promise: Gawker will cease to exist in a year’s time. I can’t tell you how I know because that would break my word but I promise you it. Either Hulk Hogan or I will triumph over Gawker. It’s going to happen.”

Johnson, a former contributor to Breitbart News, denied any direct contact with Peter Thiel or Hulk Hogan although Forbes reported that someone at Harder’s Los Angeles firm confirmed Johnson had reached out to them. By June 2016, Johnson said that he had moved on from the litigation and was focused on his new crowdfunding platform called “WeSearchr,” a fundraising site that welcomed neo-Nazis like Andrew Anglin, the founder of The Daily Stormer

As well as chumming around with white supremacists like Anglin and Richard Spencer, Johnson’s circle would later include key alt-right figures like Mike Cernovich and Cassandra Fairbanks, a political activist who writes for the far-right outlet Gateway Pundit, despite publishing derogatory stories about Johnson around the same as time Gamergate. It appears she changed her mind after the 2016 election.

“Dirty Trickster” Roger Stone

Although Roger Stone hardly needs an introduction, for those of you that missed the last forty years of this prevaricator’s conspiratorial, double-dealing, double-crossing career, in simplest terms he’s a political operative who has engaged in “dirty tricks” and political undermining since the Nixon era: 

“According to the documents, in one of his earliest acts for Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP), Stone travelled to Massachusetts with a duffle bag containing a jarful of cash intended to fund acts of political sabotage. Stone then recruited an operative and funneled approximately $10,000 (equivalent to $60,000 in 2018) to that operative to pay for surveillance of Democrats and sabotage of Democratic campaigns.”

After Stone spent his early career as a bagman for Nixon’s 1972 campaign, his modus operandi as we’ll see later in this investigation, hasn’t changed. He’s had a “long history of finding himself entangled in FBI investigations into election meddling, political sabotage, and espionage,” and although one might be inclined to describe him as a political consultant and lobbyist, that’s putting it mildly. 

Today, Stone is a leading figure in just one of many political firestorms that has emanated from the Trump campaign. When he was initially hired as Trump’s campaign advisor, he already had a longstanding relationship with him spanning over  thirty years after Trump mentor, Roy Cohn, who has since been implicated in the Epstein scandal, introduced the two of them back in 1980.

“The two men hit it off—the start of a tumultuous relationship that spanned both business and politics over the next three decades.”

Eighteen years later, in 1998, Stone helped Trump “lay the groundwork for his first presidential bid,” while acting as a lobbyist for his casinos. It would take another seventeen years for Trump to actually follow through with a presidential run, after which Stone found himself with a job. 

Although he was fired as Trump’s campaign manager by August 2015, not only did Stone continue to communicate with points of contact such as Erik Prince and Steve Bannon who said he “heard repeatedly from Stone,” he had a direct line to Donald Trump.  What’s worth dissecting further is the fact that not only is Stone closely tied to the far-right movement including the neo-fascist group, Proud Boys, he appears to have been a conduit, an intermediary, one might say, between the Trump campaign and other far-right political operatives who will be further discussed in upcoming publications.  

Oh, what tangled webs…

It has become increasingly clear that the lines between U.S. intelligence, the Trump campaign, and prominent figures in the alt-right community became increasingly blurred over time, leading to what some might describe as a conspiracy to manipulate public opinion. In the following weeks we will be reporting on a series of online operations that were run both before and after the election, and unraveling threads on a set of highly contentious issues involving the Free Assange community, with shocking details surrounding some of his alleged supporters to follow. 

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— 
because I was not a socialist. 
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— 
because I was not a trade unionist. 
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
because I was not a Jew.  
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.” 

The powerful words of Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran pastor who spent seven years in concentration camps under the Nazi regime, have been shared by countless people and circulated around the globe by countless more because it speaks to the heart of an apathetic society willing to overlook fascism, brutal power, and terrifying oppression. 

But how many more times must Niemöller’s fateful message grace the pages of Facebook or Twitter posts, inevitably to be ignored, before we heed his warning? The alarm bells are ringing, the wolf is clawing at the door, and the only question you should be asking yourself is whether or not you’re fighting or feeding the beast.  

Niemöller’s message speaks directly to the devastating consequences of remaining silent, something we do not intend to do. What this investigation intends to show is that America’s rise in far-right politics has led to what one might describe as an assemblage of propagandists and disinfo agents bent on installing fascism in the White House in order to shut down dissent and freedom of the press. And this war is being waged upon a complacent public that has grown increasingly susceptible to information warfare, and one of the most prolific publisher’s of our time, Julian Assange. 

Feature photo: @CNN

Part Two: “The Gatekeeper Files: How Trump Sold You on Fascism

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