CRT defies God and the Constitution

Legal Analysis of the Constitutionality of CRT by the Attorney General of Montana

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VOLUME NO. 58

OPINION NO. 1

Hon. Elsie Arntzen
Superintendent of Public Instruction Office of Public Instruction
P.O. Box 202501
Helena, MT 59620

May 27, 2021

HELD: In many instances, the use of “Critical Race Theory” and “antiracism” programming discriminates on the basis of race, color, or national origin in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Article II, Section 4 of the Montana Constitution, and the Montana Human Rights Act.

Dear Superintendent Arntzen:

You have requested an Attorney General Opinion on a question I have restated as follows:

Whether the teaching of Critical Race Theory or so-called “antiracism” in Montana schools violates the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Article II, Section 4 of the Montana Constitution, or the Montana Human Rights Act.

I have determined that this matter is appropriate for a legal opinion and I am pleased to respond. See MONT. CODE ANN. 2-15-501(7).

INTRODUCTION

Before addressing the specifics of your question, I want to note the importance of this topic to my role as Attorney General. The events of the past year have gener- ated enormous debate and discussion about the foundations of our country, our national character, and the legacy of our mistakes.

The United States is an exceptional nation founded on exceptional principles. Beyond a simple political revolt, the Founders waged an ideological revolution—one that ushered in a new epoch and reordered American society around timeless truths.page1image996125040

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Those truths found voice in the Declaration of Independence, when the Founders pro- claimed that “all men are created equal” and “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” That generation constructed our great Constitution around those same principles. Indeed, the Framers considered the Declaration’s assertion of human equality to be the self-evident truth—the absolute truth upon which our republican form of government necessarily hinges. HADLEY ARKES, FIRST THINGS: AN INQUIRY INTO THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF MORALS AND JUSTICE 29 (1986) (quoting Speech of J. Madison (Jun. 8, 1789)). Government by consent “emerged be- cause it is the only arrangement compatible with the premise of natural equality.” Id. at 42. The Declaration therefore infused into our national character and institutions a timeless truth rooted in nature—that all humans are created equal.

We are, however, an imperfect nation and have struggled from the beginning to live up to our ideals. In his famous I Have a Dream speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. declared that when the “architects of our great republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” It is our duty, as elected officials and citizens, to move ever closer to those fundamental principles. Only by steadfastly adhering to that commitment will future generations continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty. For me, the principles undergirding the Constitution are non- negotiable. And it is in that spirit and under that duty that I provide this opinion. As Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “[i]n the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.” Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200, 239 (1995) (Scalia, J., concurring).

A. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

Justice John Marshall Harlan known as the “Great Dissenter” famously proclaimed, “[o]ur Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 559 (1896) (Harlan, J., dissenting). Because “[t]he law regards man as man,” he asserted, it must “take[] no account of his surroundings or of his color.” Id. It would take almost another 60 years, but Justice Harlan’s lone pronouncement would eventually become the rule ending seg- regation in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that no State shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” U.S. CONST. amend. XIV, § 1.1 The “central purpose” of the Equal Protection Clause “is to prevent the States from purposefully discriminating between individuals on the basis of race.” Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630, 642 (1993). “Purchased at the price of

1 The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has been incorporated against the Fed- eral government through the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. See Adarand, 515 U.S. at 215.page2image4218540144

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immeasurable human suffering, the equal protection principle reflects our Nation’s understanding that [racial] classifications ultimately have a destructive impact on the individual and our society.” Adarand, 515 U.S. at 240 (Thomas, J., concurring). As a result, the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence recognizes that “[c]lassifications of citizens solely on the basis of race ‘are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.’” Shaw, 509 U.S. at 643 (quoting Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 100 (1943)); Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469, 518 (1989) (Kennedy, J., concurring) (“The moral impera- tive of racial neutrality is the driving force of the Equal Protection Clause.”). Therefore, “the Equal Protection Clause demands that racial classifications … be subjected to the ‘most rigid scrutiny.’” Fisher v. Univ. of Tex., 570 U.S. 297, 310 (2013) (Fisher I) (quoting Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 11 (1967)).

The Supreme Court has permitted the use of race in very narrow circum- stances. Because “[r]acial and ethnic distinctions of any sort are inherently suspect,” they “call for the most exacting judicial examination.” Regents of Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265, 291 (1978) (opinion of Powell, J.); Croson, 488 U.S. at 493 (the use of race is “highly suspect”). Any classification based on race is, therefore, pre- sumptively invalid. See Shaw, 509 U.S. at 643-44 (quoting Pers. Adm’r of Massachusetts v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 272 (1979)); Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244, 270 (2003). Whether imposed by federal, state, or local governments, the use of race must survive “strict scrutiny.” Adarand, 515 U.S. at 227. The consideration of race only survives strict scrutiny if it is narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest that has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. See Fisher v. Univ. of Tex., 136 S. Ct. 2198, 2208 (2016) (Fisher II). And the Supreme Court has recognized only two such compelling interests. See Parents Involved in Cmty. Schs. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 551 U.S. 701, 720, 722 (2007) (majority opinion) (noting that in evaluating the use of racial classifications the Court has recognized two inter- ests that qualify as compelling: “remedying the effects of past intentional discrimination” and “diversity in higher education”).

The Supreme Court has permitted entities to employ remedial measures to rectify the effects of identified discrimination within their jurisdiction. Any program using race, however, must “tailor remedial relief to those who truly have suffered the effects of prior discrimination.” Croson, 488 U.S. at 508. The government must show “a strong basis in evidence for [a] conclusion that remedial action [is] necessary.” Id. at 510 (quoting Wygant v. Jackson Bd. of Educ., 476 U.S. 267, 277 (1986)); see also id. at 499 (“amorphous claim that there has been past discrimination in a particular industry cannot justify the use of an unyielding racial quota”). Importantly, the Su- preme Court has rejected “societal discrimination” as a legitimate basis for race conscious classifications. Croson, 488 U.S. at 505 (citing Bakke, 438 U.S. at 296-97).

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The Supreme Court has also decided that—for the time being student body diversity is a compelling interest that can justify the use of race in higher-education admissions. Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306, 325 (2003).3 Schools still bear the “ultimate burden of demonstrating, before turning to racial classifications, that avail- able, workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice.” Fisher I, 570 U.S. at 312. Still, the “entire gist of the analysis in Grutter was that the admissions program … focused on each applicant as an individual, and not simply as a member of a particular racial group” and “only as part of a ‘highly individualized, holistic review.’” Parents Involved, 551 U.S. at 722-23 (emphasis added) (quoting Grutter, 539 U.S. at 337). Grutter was importantly limited to higher education and only as one factor to be used in attainment of a diverse student body. See 539 U.S. at 329-30.4

B. TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects all students who attend institu- tions receiving federal funding from being treated differently based on their actual or perceived race, color, or national origin. 42 U.S.C. § 2000d (“No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from partic- ipation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”). Title VI bans all dis- crimination that would violate the Equal Protection Clause. See Gratz, 539 U.S. at 276 n.23. The Office of Public Instruction (OPI), all Montana school districts, and the Montana University System are all “recipients” of federal financial assistance.5 Re- cipients must provide, as a condition to approval and extension of any Federal financial assistance, an assurance that the program will be conducted in compliance with all requirements imposed by Title VI. See 34 C.F.R. § 100.4(a).

The Title VI implementing regulations, codified at 34 C.F.R. Part 100, provide that a recipient “may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on ground of race, color, or national origin”:

2 The Grutter Court, 18 years ago, recognized that the legal justification for the use of race in admis- sions would dissipate with time. See 539 U.S. at 343 (“We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”).

3 The Court found it significant that “[t]he attainment of a diverse student body, by contrast, serves values beyond race alone, including enhanced classroom dialogue and the lessening of racial isolation and stereotypes.” Fisher I, 570 U.S. at 308.

But see Fisher II, 136 S. Ct. at 2208 (“A university cannot impose a fixed quota or otherwise define diversity as some specified percentage of a particular group merely because of its race or ethnic origin.”).

5 Federal assistance to education includes direct grants to State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), universities, and students, and a variety of student loans and loan guar- antees. Private colleges and universities accepting federal student loans are also indirect recipients of Federal funding. See Grove City Coll. v. Bell, 465 U.S. 555 (1984).

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  • “Deny an individual any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program” 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(1)(i).
  • “Provide any service, financial aid, or other benefit to an individual which is different, or is provided in a different manner, from that provided to others under the program” 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(1)(ii).
  • “Subject an individual to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to his receipt of any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program” 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(1)(iii).
  • “Restrict an individual in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program” 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(1)(iv).
  • “Treat an individual differently from others in determining whether he satisfies any admission, enrollment, quota, eligibility, membership or other requirement or condition which individuals must meet in order to be provided any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program” 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(1)(v).
  • “Deny an individual an opportunity to participate in the program through the provision of services or otherwise or afford him an opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others under the program ….” 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(1)(vi).Title VI addresses a number of discriminatory actions, including harassment. Racial and national origin harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race or national origin. See Racial Incidents and Har- assment Against Students: Investigative Guidance, 59 Fed. Reg. 11448, 11452 (Mar. 10, 1994). Harassers can be students, school staff, or even a visitor to the school, such as a guest speaker, employee of another school, or a parent. Id. at 11449. Racial and national origin harassment can take many forms, including slurs, taunts, stereo- types, or name-calling, as well as racially motivated physical threats, attacks, or other hateful conduct.Title VI is violated if a school fails to respond to racial harassment so severe, pervasive, or persistent, that it constitutes a hostile or abusive educational environ- ment. See 59 Fed. Reg. at 11452; Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986) (setting a similar standard for sexual harassment under Title IX) (relying on Rogers v. EEOC, 454 F.2d 234, 238 (5th Cir. 1971) (race discrimination can consist of an “environment heavily charged with ethnic or racial discrimination”), cert. denied, 406 U.S. 957 (1972); Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc., 510 U.S. 17 (1993) (reiterating Meritor standard); see also Gray v. Greyhound Lines, East, 545 F.2d 169, 176 (D.C. Cir. 1976) (noting with approval that EEOC has consistently held that Title VII gives employees the right to a working environment free of racial intimidation). If the harassment would have adversely affected the enjoyment of some aspect of the recipient’s

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educational program by a reasonable person of the same age and race as the victim under similar circumstances, then it created a hostile environment. 59 Fed. Reg. at 11449. Whether conduct constitutes a hostile environment must be determined from the totality of the circumstances. See id. at 11452 (citing Harris, 510 U.S. at 23).

Although Title VI’s hostile environment framework draws many of its princi- ples from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it should be noted that there are differences between the education and workplace contexts.6 When evaluating the severity of ra- cial harassment, for example, the law must account for the unique setting and mission of an educational institution. See id. at 11449. This is because an educa- tional institution has a duty to provide a nondiscriminatory environment that is conducive to learning. Id. The type of environment that is tolerated or encouraged by or at a school can therefore send a particularly strong signal to, and serve as an influential lesson for, its students. Id. Younger, less mature children are generally more impressionable than older students or adults. Id. “Particularly for young children in their formative years of development, therefore, severe, pervasive or persistent harassment must be understood in light of the age and impressionability of the students involved and with the special nature and purposes of the educational setting in mind.” Id.

A school unlawfully discriminates on the basis of race if it has effectively caused, encouraged, accepted, tolerated or failed to correct a racially hostile environ- ment. Id. Notably, racial acts need not be targeted at any particular individual in order to create a racially hostile environment. Id.see also Walker v. Ford Motor Co., 684 F.2d 1355, 1358-59 (11th Cir. 1982) (hostile environment established where racial harassment made plaintiff “feel unwanted and uncomfortable in his surroundings,” even though it was not directed at him). The harassment also need not result in tangible physical injury or detriment to the victims of the harassment. 59 Fed. Reg. at 11450.

Title VI is enforced in several ways. It is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which accepts complaints and investigates possible violations. Because Title VI is a spending clause statute, a violating recipi- ent of funds usually enters into an agreement with OCR to remedy the discrimination and avoid the loss of federal funding. Title VI is also enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Finally, Title VI contains a private right of action, which permits victims of discrimination to seek relief, including monetary damages, in court. Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275 (2001) (citing Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677 (1979)).

6 Educational settings also have special First Amendment implications. See, e.g., Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 180-81 (1972). Part E of this opinion, infra, discusses First Amendment concerns as applied to nondiscrimination laws in education.

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C. MONTANA LAW

Article II, § 4 of the Montana Constitution provides:

No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. Neither the state nor any person, firm, corporation, or institution shall discriminate against any person in the exercise of his civil or political rights on account of race, color, sex, culture, social origin or condition, or political or religious ideas.

MONT. CONST. art. II, § 4. Known as the Individual Dignity Clause, Article II, § 4 “guarantees equal protection of the law to all persons.” Snetsinger v. Mont. Univ. Sys., 104 P.3d 445, 449, 325 Mont. 148, 153 (2004). It “embod[ies] a fundamental principle of fairness: that the law must treat similarly-situated individuals in a sim- ilar manner.” McDermott v. Montana Dep’t of Corr., 29 P.3d 992, 998, 305 Mont. 462, 470 (2001); see also Oberg v. Billings, 674 P.2d 494, 495, 207 Mont. 277, 280 (1983) (strict scrutiny applies to suspect classifications such as race, color, or national origin).

Montana’s Individual Dignity Clause “provides even more individual protec- tion than the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” Snetsinger, 104 P.3d at 449 (quoting Cottrill v. Cottrill Sodding Serv., 744 P.2d 895, 897, 229 Mont. 40, 42 (1987) (contrasting language with catego- ries protected by the Fourteenth Amendment)). Notably, the Clause prohibits even private actors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, culture, social origin, religion or political ideas. MONT. CONST. art. II, § 4. Montana courts thus “cannot and will not condone the consideration of race or national origin.” See In re Marriage of Olson, 194 P.3d 619, 624, 344 Mont. 385, 391 (2008).

The Montana Human Rights Act (MHRA) prevents discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin and implements the Individual Dignity Clause. See Dupuis v. Bd. of Trs., 128 P.3d 1010, 1013, 330 Mont. 232, 237 (2006); MONT. CODE. ANN. § 49-2-101, et seq. The MHRA forbids race discrimination in employment, id. § 49-2-101; public accommodations, id. § 49-2-304; and housing, id. § 49-2-305. The MHRA recognizes hostile work environment claims and closely mirrors federal caselaw. See Snell v. Mont.-Dakota Utils. Co., 643 P.2d 841, 844 198 Mont. 56, 62 (1982) (“The Montana Human Rights Act … is closely modeled after Title VII, and reference to pertinent federal case law is both useful and appropriate.”); see also Johnson v. Bozeman Sch. Dist., 734 P.2d 209, 213, 226 Mont. 134, 140 (1987) (adopting the Title VII framework from McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), in MHRA employment claims).

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Especially relevant here, the MHRA also prohibits discrimination in education. MONT. CODE. ANN. § 49-2-307. Educational institutions may not “exclude, expel, limit, or otherwise discriminate against an individual seeking admission as a student or an individual enrolled as a student in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the institution” because of race, color, or national origin. Id. § 49-2-307(1). They may not “print, publish, or cause to be printed or published a catalog or other notice or adver- tisement indicating a limitation, specification, or discrimination based on” the race, color, or national origin of an applicant for admission. Id. § 49-2-307(3). They also may not “announce or follow a policy of denial or limitation of educational opportuni- ties of a group or its members, through a quota or otherwise, because of race, color … or national origin.” Id. § 49-2-307(4).

Finally, the MHRA prevents the State or any of its political subdivisions from discriminating on the basis of race. Id. § 49-2-308(1). The state may not “refuse, withhold from, or deny to a person any local, state, or federal funds, services, goods, facilities, advantages, or privileges” because of race, color, or national origin “unless based on reasonable grounds.” Id. § 49-2-308(1)(a). It also may not “publish, circu- late, issue, display, post, or mail a written or printed communication, notice, or advertisement which states or implies that any local, state, or federal funds, services, goods, facilities, advantages, or privileges of the office or agency will be refused, with- held from, or denied to a person” on the basis of race, color, or national origin “or that the patronage of a person of a particular race … color … or national origin … is un- welcome or not desired or solicited, unless based on reasonable grounds.” Id. § 49-2- 308(1)(b).

D. CRITICAL RACE THEORY AND “ANTIRACISM

Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) began as an academic movement “interested in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power.”7 Its proponents claim that “[i]t’s an approach to grappling with a history of white supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it.”9 CRT “has been used to

7 RICHARD DELGADO & JEAN STEFANIC, CRITICAL RACE THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION 2 (2001).

8 The term “white supremacy” has been broadened by CRT and Antiracism. See, e.g.Robin DiAngelo on Educators’ ‘White Fragility’, 76 EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, no. 7, Apr. 2019 (“The term white su- premacy certainly includes what we would think of as neo-Nazism or outright racism. But it is also a highly descriptive sociological term for the society we live in, in which all institutions—languages, norms, policies reflect and affirm white people at the expense of others. It’s the water we’ve been swimming in and we’ve all been shaped by it, consciously or not.”).

9 Cady Lang, President Trump Has Attacked Critical Race Theory. Here’s What to Know About the Intellectual Movement, TIME MAGAZINE (Sept. 29, 2020) (quoting CRT co-founder Kimberlé Crenshaw), https://time.com/5891138/critical-race-theory-explained/. One of CRT’s founders also coined the term “intersectionality.” Katy Steinmetz, She Coined the Term ‘Intersectionality’ Over 30 Years Ago. Here’spage8image4232733872page8image4232734160

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examine how institutional racism manifests in instances like housing segregation, bank lending, discriminatory labor practices and access to education.”10 It has also “helped to develop themes and language to address racism and inequality, such as white privilege, intersectionality and microaggressions, among others.”11 “Critical race theorists attack the very foundations of the liberal legal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of consti- tutional law.”12

A related concept, “antiracism,” has also recently entered the lexicon. The Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) defines “[b]eing antiracist” as “fighting against racism.”13 Antiracism’s proponents make clear, however, that “[b]eing an antiracist is much different from just being ‘nonracist.’”14 The NMAAHC explains:

Being antiracist is different for white people than it is for people of color. For white people, being antiracist evolves with their racial identity de- velopment. They must acknowledge and understand their privilege, work to change their internalized racism, and interrupt racism when they see it. For people of color, it means recognizing how race and rac- ism have been internalized, and whether it has been applied to other people of color.15

This means, according to NMAAHC and others, that “[i]n the absence of making antiracist choices, we (un)consciously uphold aspects of white supremacy, white- dominant culture, and unequal institutions and society.”16 In other words, an

What It Means to Her Today, TIME MAGAZINE (Feb. 20, 2020), https://time.com/5786710/kimberle-cren- shaw-intersectionality/ (last visited May 24, 2021).

10 Lang, supra note 9. 11 Id.

12 Jeffrey J. Pyle, Race, Equality and the Rule of Law: Critical Race Theory’s Attack on the Promises of Liberalism, 40 B.C. L. REV. 787, 788 (1999).

13 Being Antiracist, SMITHSONIAN NAT’L MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMER. HIST. & CULTURE, https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/being-antiracist (last visited May 24, 2021).

14 ANNELIESE A. SINGH, RACIAL HEALING HANDBOOK: PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES TO HELP YOU CHALLENGE PRIVILEGE, CONFRONT SYSTEMIC RACISM, AND ENGAGE IN COLLECTIVE HEALING (2019),https://nmaahc.si.edu/sites/default/files/downloads/resources/racialhealinghandbook_p87to94.pdf. (“For White people, becoming an antiracist is a journey that evolves alongside your White racial identity. For instance, once you have moved out of obliviousness about your White privilege, you can move toward integrative awareness of what it means to be White and how to use your White privilege.”).

15 Being Antiracist, SMITHSONIAN NAT’L MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMER. HIST. & CULTURE, supra note 13 (quoting SINGH, supra note 14).

16 Id.

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individual must accept the premise that because of race he or she suffers from internalized racism or its effects and then zealously pursue antiracism’s deconstructionist ends, or that person is a racist.

One prominent “antiracist” proponent is Ibram X. Kendi, the Director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, and the author of How to Be an Antiracist. Kendi was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2020.”17

Another proponent, Robin DiAngelo, the author of another New York Times bestseller, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, has been described as “perhaps the country’s most visible expert in anti-bias train- ing.”18 The book’s publisher describes it as “a must-read for all educators because racial disparities in access and opportunity continue to be an urgent issue in our schools.”19 DiAngelo asserts that “[w]hite fragility is the defensive reaction that so many white people have when their positions or perspectives around race are ques- tioned.”20 She elaborates:

For a lot of white people, the mere suggestion that being white has meaning will cause great umbrage. Certainly generalizing about white people will. Right now, me saying “white people,” as if our race had meaning, and as if I could know anything about somebody just because they’re white, will cause a lot of white people to erupt in defensiveness. And I think of it as a kind of weaponized defensiveness. Weaponized tears. Weaponized hurt feelings. And in that way, I think white fragility actually functions as a kind of white racial bullying.21

Antiracism therefore assigns immutable negative characteristics to individuals solely based upon their race or ethnicity. And it manages to frame any philosophical disagreement or objection to this assignment as you guessed it racism.

17 Al Sharpton, Time 100: Most Influential People 2020: Ibram X. Kendi, TIME MAGAZINE, https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2020/ (last visited May 24, 2021).

18 Kelefa Sanneh, The Fight to Redefine Racism, THE NEW YORKER (Aug. 12, 2019),https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/19/the-fight-to-redefine-racism.

19 Valeria Brown, Discussion Guide for Educators: White Fragility by Robin Diangelo, BEACON PRESS,http://beacon.org/assets/pdfs/DiAngelo-EducatorsProfDevGuide.pdf.

20 Mary Jo Madda, White Fragility in Teaching and Education: An Interview With Dr. Robin DiAngelo, EDSURGE (Aug. 23, 2018), https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-08-23-white-fragility-in-teaching-and- education-an-interview-with-dr-robin-diangelo.

21 Adrienne Van Der Valk & Anya Malley, What’s My Complicity? Talking White Fragility With Robin DiAngelo, 62 LEARNING FOR JUST, Summer 2019, https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/sum- mer-2019/whats-my-complicity-talking-white-fragility-with-robin-diangelo.

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But accepting antiracism’s premises is only half the program. To avoid being racist, one must also affirmatively participate in antiracism’s prescribed social action:

We can be led to believe that racism is only about individual mindsets and actions, yet racist policies also contribute to our polarization. While individual choices are damaging, racist ideas in policy have a wide- spread impact by threatening the equity of our systems and the fairness of our institutions. To create an equal society, we must commit to making unbiased choices and being antiracist in all aspects of our lives.22

The driving force behind CRT and antiracism is the complete and total acceptance of a specific worldview one that encompasses very specific notions about history, philosophy, sociology, and public policy. Being a so-called “antiracist” re- quires individuals to accept these premises and advocate for specific policy proposals. Individuals who do not comply cannot truly be “antiracist,” and are, therefore, con- sidered racist.

By its own terms, antiracism excludes individuals who merely advocate for the neutral legal principles of the Constitution, or who deny or question the extent to which white supremacy continues to shape our institutions. To that end, no one can be antiracist who does not act to eliminate the vestiges of white supremacy, i.e., em- brace the specific public policy proposals of CRT and antiracism. For example, critics have suggested that there is one, and only one, correct stance on standardized testing, drug legalization, Medicare for All, and even the capital gains tax rate.23

This paradigm is conveniently constructed “like a mousetrap.”24 Disagreement with any aspect becomes irrefutable evidence of its premises of systemic racism, bias, fragility, or white supremacy. In short, it is a conclusion in search of a methodology— one that eschews the bedrock principles of natural justice and abdicates fundamental concepts such as individual agency and autonomy.

CRT and antiracism are not merely academic ideas confined to university critical studies courses. These ideologies have begun to infiltrate mainstream American dialogue and permeate our institutions. It has been embraced by corporations,25

22 Being Antiracist, SMITHSONIAN NAT’L MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMER. HIST. & CULTURE, supra note 13.

23 Max Eden, ‘Anti-Racist’ education is anything but, AMER. ENTERP. INST. (Sept. 1, 2020) (citing IBRAM KENDI, HOW TO BE AND ANTIRACIST (2019)), https://www.aei.org/op-eds/anti-racist-education-is-any- thing-but/.

24 Christopher F. Rufo, Critical Race Theory: What It Is and How to Fight It, 50 IMPRIMIS, vol. 3, Mar. 2021, https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/critical-race-theory-fight/.

25 Daniel Bergner, ‘White Fragility’ Is Everywhere. But Does Antiracism Training Work?, N.Y. TIMES (July 15, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/15/magazine/white-fragility-robin-diangelo.html.

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government organizations, classrooms,26 and even late-night television.27 Public schools have used taxpayer dollars to pay for “antiracism” programming.28 Cornell, UC Berkeley, and a large contingent of major universities featured antiracism work on their summer reading lists. Even the National Park Service offers lesson plans and discussion guides for teachers on How to Be an Antiracist.29 White Fragility has a “Discussion Guide for Educators.”30

One major aspect of antiracism programming involves activities which sepa- rate students, teachers, or employees by race. For example, the Evanston/Skokie, IL school district instituted antiracist curriculum and education, which resulted in (1) separating administrators in a professional development training program into two groups based on race white and non-white; (2) offering various “racially exclusive affinity groups” that separated students, parents and community members by race; (3) implementing a disciplinary policy that included “explicit direction” to staffers to consider a student’s race when meting out discipline; and (4) carrying out a “Colorism Privilege Walk” that separated seventh and eighth grade students into different

(“DiAngelo’s inbox was flooded with … requests to deliver … workshops and keynotes at Amazon, Nike, Under Armour, Goldman Sachs. The entreaties went on: Facebook, CVS, American Express, Netflix.”).

26 See, e.g., For Faculty and Staff: White Fragility Discussion Group, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS- AMHERST (Jan. 19, 2021), https://www.umass.edu/sphhs/news-events/events-calendar/faculty-and- staff-white-fragility-discussion-group; The novel “White Fragility” is pulled from a Choctawhatchee High English class, NW FLA. DAILY NEWS (Oct. 8, 2020), https://www.nwfdailyn- ews.com/story/news/2020/10/08/okaloosa-school-district-pulls-novel-white-fragility-out- class/5929349002/; Millard principals will read ‘White Fragility’ as district has conversations on race, OMAHA WORLD-HERALD (July 13, 2020), https://omaha.com/news/education/millard-principals-will- read-white-fragility-as-district-has-conversations-on-race/article_0925f605-4528-5be5-a4a2- 725ba022596b.html; White Fragility. What it Looks Like in Schools, NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY CEN- TER NEWSLETTER (Oct. 1, 2019),https://nepc.colorado.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Newsletter%20thomas_0.pdf.page12image4232141184page12image4232141472page12image4232141760page12image4232142048page12image4232142336page12image4232142624page12image4232142912page12image4232143200page12image4232143616page12image4232143904

THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON (June 17, 2020), available at

27
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZfiSjTHVqA (Interview with Robin DiAngelo).page12image4232160528

28 See, e.g., Fairfax County schools defending $20K presentation from anti-racism scholar, FOX5DC.COM (Sept. 20, 2020), https://www.fox5dc.com/news/fairfax-county-schools-defending-20k-presentation- from-anti-racism-scholar (“The Fairfax County school district is defending its decision to pay $20,000 for an author who spoke to its administration and school leaders about racism for one hour…. The district says it was a timely topic selected by the staff – but it comes at a time when people are scram- bling for funds to address how to navigate distance learning and in-person learning for students.”).

29 How to Be an Antiracist” Book Club, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: EDUCATION MATERIALS,https://www.nps.gov/teachers/classrooms/-how-to-be-an-antiracist-book-club.htm (last visited May 24, 2021).

30 Brown, Discussion Guide for Educators, supra note 19. 12page12image4232253712page12image4232254000page12image4232254544

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groups based on race.31 Schools have even proposed separate housing and advisors based on race,32 separate grading policies,33 and separate professional development training.34

This programming also focuses on the concepts of “whiteness” and “white iden- tity.”35 DiAngelo’s White Fragility claims a positive white identity is an impossible goal. Corporate diversity trainings reportedly now instruct employees to “be less white.”36 Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights—ironically—conducted a race and social jus- tice training for employees that required white employees to examine their

31 Carl Campanile, US Dept. of Education curbs decision on race-based ‘affinity groups’, N.Y. POST (Mar. 7, 2021), https://nypost.com/2021/03/07/education-dept-curbs-decision-on-race-based-affinity- groups/; see also Ben Zeisloft, Tulane hosts anti-racism teach-in with profs divided by race, CAMPUS REFORM (May 3, 2021), https://campusreform.org/article?id=17344; Benjamin Fearnow, Minnesota College Sparks Backlash With Anti-Racist ‘Struggle Sessions’ Segregated by Race, NEWSWEEK (Apr. 19, 2021), https://www.newsweek.com/minnesota-college-sparks-backlash-anti-racist-struggle-ses- sions-segregated-race-1584776.

32 Ben Zeisloft, U Kentucky creates two RA groups: ‘One for RAs who identify as Black…one for RAs who identify as White’, CAMPUS REFORM (Oct. 29, 2020), https://www.campusreform.org/arti- cle?id=16034.

33 “Antiracist” Grading Starts with You, Vol. 78 EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, no. 1, Sept. 2020, at 12-13,http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept20/vol78/num01/%C2%A3Antirac- ist%C2%A3-Grading-Starts-with-You.aspx (“The idea of what is successful at school is still very much constructed through an able-bodied, monied, aggressively competitive white male lens.”); UCLA Re- moves Lecturer for Questioning Proposal to Give Black Students Preferential Grading, THE COLLEGE FIX (June 5, 2020), www.thecollegefix.com/ucla-removes-lecturer-for-questioning-proposal-to-give- black-students-preferential-grading/.

34 Kathianne Boniello and Susan Edelman, NYC teachers segregated by race for ‘affinity groups’ amid protests, N.Y. POST (June 20, 2020), https://nypost.com/2020/06/20/nyc-teachers-segregated-by-race- for-affinity-groups-amid-protests/ (the New York Department of Education’s Early Childhood Division reportedly sponsored an “anti-racist Community Meeting” where teachers were segregated into dis- cussion groups based on skin color, race and ethnicity); Bettina Love, White Teachers Need Anti-Racist Therapy, EDUCATION WEEK, (Feb. 6, 2020).

35 SINGH, supra note 14 (“For White people, becoming an antiracist is a journey that evolves alongside your White racial identity. For instance, once you have moved out of obliviousness about your White privilege, you can move toward integrative awareness of what it means to be White and how to use your White privilege.”), https://nmaahc.si.edu/sites/default/files/downloads/resources/racialhealing- handbook_p87to94.pdf; Bettina Love, White Teachers Need Anti-Racist Therapy, EDUCATION WEEK, (Feb. 6, 2020), https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-white-teachers-need-anti-racist- therapy/2020/02 (“White teachers need a particular type of therapy. They must learn how to deal with what Cheryl E. Matias calls ‘White emotionalities’ and what Robin DiAngelo has termed ‘White fra- gility.’”).

36 See, e.g., Lia Eustachewich, Coca-Cola slammed for diversity training that urged workers to be ‘less white’, N.Y. POST (Feb. 23, 2021), https://nypost.com/2021/02/23/coca-cola-diversity-training-urged- workers-to-be-less-white/.

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“relationships with white supremacy, racism, and white-ness.”37

In education, op-eds in major publications assert that schools “need therapists who specialize in the healing of teachers and the undoing of Whiteness in educa- tion.”38 One North Carolina school district reportedly launched a campaign against “whiteness in educational spaces.”39 The Evanston/Skokie school district reportedly assigned the book, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, where parents are asked to quiz their children on whiteness and give them approachable examples of “how white- ness shows up in school or in the community.”40 Schools have told parents to “reflect on their whiteness.”41 Some schools have set up “whiteness accountability” spaces on campus.42 Campus lectures on antiracism focus on recovering from being white43 or changing what it means to be white.44 And some universities have even allegedly forced employees to apologize for being white.45

37 Christopher F. Rufo, Seattle Office of Civil Rights Training on “Internalized Racial Superiority for White People,” CHRISTOPHERRUFO.COM (Jul. 29, 2020), https://christopherrufo.com/separate-but- equal/.

38 Love, supra note 35.
39 Christopher F. Rufo, Subversive Education, CITY JOURNAL (Mar. 17, 2021), https://www.city-jour-

nal.org/critical-race-theory-in-wake-county-nc-schools.

40 Conor Friedersdorf, What Happens When a Slogan Becomes the Curriculum, THE ATLANTIC (Mar. 14, 2021), https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/03/should-black-lives-matter-agenda-be- taught-school/618277/.

41 Selim Algar and Kate Sheehy, NYC public school asks parents to ‘reflect’ on their ‘whiteness’, N.Y. POST (Feb. 16, 2021), https://nypost.com/2021/02/16/nyc-public-school-asks-parents-to-reflect-on-their- whiteness/.

42 See, e.g., Dion J. Perry, Humboldt State hosts ‘Whiteness Accountability Space’ so ‘White folks’ can address their ‘anti-Blackness‘, CAMPUS REFORM (Mar. 25. 2021), https://www.campusreform.org/arti- cle?id=17128; Anti-racism and White Accountability, COUNSELING CENTER, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY MARYLAND, https://www.loyola.edu/department/counseling-center/social-justice/anti-racism-white-ac- countability (last visited May 20, 2021) (establishing “white accountability spaces” on campus and stating “[w]e feel it is important to highlight the need for white individuals to take an anti-racist stand and hold each other accountable.”).

43 University of Minnesota Offers Lecture to ‘Recover’ From Being White, THE COLLEGE POST (Oct. 21, 2020), https://thecollegepost.com/university-of-minnesota-whiteness/.

44 Chrstopher F. Rufo, Racism in the Cradle, CITY JOURNAL (Mar. 2, 2021), https://chris- topherrufo.com/racism-in-the-cradle/ (Arizona Education Department recommended reading claims that “all white people are white in the context of a society that continues to disadvantage people of color based on race” and teaches schools how to “change what it means to be white” and inculcate an “antiracist white identity.”).

45 Mike Brake, Does OU diversity training violate federal labor law?, OKLAHOMA COUNCIL OF PUB. AFFAIRS (Feb. 4, 2021), https://www.ocpathink.org/post/does-ou-diversity-training-violate-federal-la- bor-law (noting “some universities have already faced lawsuits for diversity programs where “they make people get down on the floor and apologize for being white”).

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On the Smithsonian NMAAHC’s page dealing with “Whiteness,” it asserted at one point that traits such as “individualism,” “hard work,” “objectivity,” “progress,” “politeness,” “decision-making,” and “delayed gratification” as hallmarks of “white culture.”46 TrainingmaterialsfromArgonneNationalLaboratories,aFederalentity, stated that racism ‘‘is interwoven into every fabric of America’’ and described state- ments like ‘‘color blindness’’ and the ‘‘meritocracy’’ as ‘‘actions of bias.’’47

I would like to note that all of these traits identified above, far from being hallmarks of merely “white culture,” are in fact important hallmarks of a virtuous and productive colorblind society. None of them, however, have any connection to “whiteness” or “white identity.” They are self-evident virtues—universally applicable to and shared by people of all races, colors, creeds, and national origins. Because men and women are created equal, they can all equally appreciate and adopt those values.

One popular trope revolves around the idea that all white people are inherently racist or share collective culpability for the past transgressions against non-whites. White Fragility contains assertions such as “White identity is inherently racist.”48 The Arizona Department of Education created an “equity” toolkit claiming that ba- bies show the first signs of racism at only three months old, and that white children soon after become full racists “strongly biased in favor of whiteness.”49 Buffalo, NY Public Schools reportedly teaches students that “all white people” perpetuate sys- temic racism.50 San Diego Public Schools accused white teachers of being “colonizers” on stolen Native American land, instructed them that they are racist and upholding racist ideas, structures, and policies, and recommended that the teachers undergo “antiracist therapy.”51 A Cupertino, CA elementary school forces third-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, rank themselves according to their “power and privilege,” and then separate the children into “oppressors and

46 Frederick M. Hess & RJ Martin, Smithsonian Institution Explains that ‘Rationality’ & ‘Hard Work’ are Racist, REALCLEARPOLICY (July 20, 2020), https://www.realclearpolicy.com/arti- cles/2020/07/20/smithsonian_institute_explains_that_rationality_and_hard_work_are_racist_499425. html.

47 Exec. Order No. 13950, 85 Fed. Reg. 60683, 60684 (Sept. 28, 2020).

48 ROBIN DIANGELO, WHITE FRAGILITY: WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM (2018).

49 Rufo, Racism in the Cradlesupra note 44.
50 Christopher F. Rufo, Fail Factor, CITY JOURNAL (Feb. 23, 2021), https://www.city-journal.org/buffalo-

public-schools-critical-race-theory-curriculum.
51 Christopher F. Rufo, Radicals in the Classroom, CITY JOURNAL (Jan. 5, 2021), https://www.city-jour-

nal.org/radicalism-in-san-diego-schools.
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oppressed.52 Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights training reported required white em- ployees explain how their “[families] benefit economically from the system of white supremacy even as it directly and violently harms Black people.”53 The U.S. Depart- ment of the Treasury held a seminar that promoted arguments that ‘‘virtually all White people, regardless of how ‘woke’ they are, contribute to racism.’’54

Another major theme of antiracism programming revolves around the concept of “privilege,” and specifically “white privilege.” 55 Training materials from Sandia National Laboratories, a Federal entity, stated that an emphasis on ‘‘rationality over emotionality’’ was a characteristic of ‘‘white male[s],’’ and asked those present to ‘‘acknowledge’’ their ‘‘privilege’’ to each other.56 A lawsuit in Nevada alleges that a public school gave a student a failing grade in his “Sociology of Change” course and threatened to prevent him from graduating because he refused to confess his privilege openly as demanded by the school, the course curriculum, and the teacher.57 (The federal judge announced that the student was likely to succeed in his lawsuit.) One public school course allegedly obligated students to label white, male, Christian, and heterosexual identities as inherently oppressive and privileged because of their social dominance.58

Before turning to the legal analysis, I note the challenge of dealing with terms like “antiracism”—which are susceptible to different and evolving meanings. For ex- ample, the CRT and “antiracism” movements demonstrate that although “racism” is widely understood and accepted as an epithet, it encompasses vastly different mean- ings for different people.59 The gravamen of CRT and antiracism’s theories, however,

52 Chrstopher F. Rufo, Woke Elementary, CITY JOURNAL (Jan. 13, 2021) https://www.city-jour- nal.org/identity-politics-in-cupertino-california-elementary-school.

53 Christopher F. Rufo, Seattle Office of Civil Rights Training on “Internalized Racial Superiority for White People,” CHRISTOPHERRUFO.COM (July 29, 2020), https://christopherrufo.com/separate-but- equal/.

54 Exec. Order No. 13950, 85 Fed. Reg. at 60684.

55 See, e.g., Talking About Race: Whiteness, SMITHSONIAN NAT’L MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMER. HIST. & CULTURE, https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/whiteness (last visited May 19, 2021) (“Since white people in America hold most of the political, institutional, and economic power, they receive advantages that nonwhite groups do not. These benefits and advantages, of varying degrees, are known as white privilege. For many white people, this can be hard to hear, understand, or accept – but it is true. If you are white in America, you have benefited from the color of your skin.”).

56 Exec. Order No. 13950, 85 Fed. Reg. at 60684.
57 Joshua Dunn, Critical Race Theory Collides with the Law, ED. NEXT (May 19, 2021), https://www.ed-

ucationnext.org/critical-race-theory-collides-with-law/. 58 Id.

59 See also Fabiola Cineas, Merriam-Webster has a new definition of “racism”, VOX (June 11, 2020),https://www.vox.com/identities/2020/6/10/21286656/merriam-webster-racism-definition.page16image4226510128page16image4226510416page16image4226510704page16image4226510992page16image4226511280page16image4226511568page16image4226511920page16image4226512208

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rely on the popular shibboleths of “systemic,” “institutional,” or “structural” racism. A minimal investigation into these claims exposes them as hollow rhetorical devices devoid of any legally sufficient rationale for purposes of civil rights law, as well as a threat to stability of our institutions.

There is no better example of this than the September 2020 open letter from Christopher Eisgruber, President of Princeton University, admitting that his institu- tion is and for decades has been “racist.”60 He notoriously alleged “[r]acism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton as in our society, sometimes by conscious intention but more often through unexamined assumptions and stereo- types, ignorance or insensitivity, and the systemic legacy of past decisions and policies.”61 He further admitted that “[r]acist assumptions … remain embedded in structures of the University itself.”62 The U.S. Department of Education was rightly alarmed by these serious revelations and immediately opened an investigation into the racism at Princeton.63 Particularly concerning was that Princeton might have repeatedly made knowingly false assurances regarding nondiscrimination and equal opportunity to the Department in exchange for federal monies, not to mention similar statements to students, parents, and consumers.64

In the face of this investigation, however, Princeton responded that—although it is systemically, institutionally, and structurally racist—it does not actually commit discriminationinviolationoffederallaw.65 Despiteitsclaimsthatwidespreadracism permeated throughout every aspect of campus, it asserted that no one employed by the University had engaged in or was engaging in any discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The Department concluded its investigation by stating that President Eisgruber “knowingly and intentionally spoke falsely, making a

60 Princeton Univ. Office of Commc’ns, Letter from President Eisgruber on the University’s efforts to combat systemic racism (Sept. 2, 2020) (“Eisgruber Letter”), https://www.prince- ton.edu/news/2020/09/02/letter-president-eisgruber-universitys-efforts-combat-systemic-racism. See also Northwestern University’s interim dean admits to being a ‘racist’ during digital town hall, WASH. EXAMINER (Sept. 1, 2020) (Northwestern University Law School’s Dean and other faculty members admitting to being racists during a townhall meeting), https://www.washingtonex- aminer.com/news/northwestern-universitys-interim-dean-admits-to-being-a-racist-during-digital- town-hall.

61 Eisgruber Letter, supra note 60.

62 Id.

63 Letter from Robert King, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education to Christopher Eisgruber, President, Princeton University (Sept. 16, 2020), https://www.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/docu- ments/2020/09/Princeton-Letter-9-16-20-Signed.pdf.

64 Id.

65 Letter from Thomas Perrelli, Counsel for Princeton University, to U.S. Dep’t of Educ. at 1 (Oct. 21, 2020).

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factually baseless ritual confession and not an empirically grounded description of campus reality.”66

Admissions such as these may be good faith efforts—albeit misguided ones— to address societal problems or respond to students’ concerns. But in practice, they are used as a pretext to justify intentional discrimination against individuals on the basis of race. By conceding antiracism’s threshold propositions, institutions obtain cover to discriminate in the service of particular public policy goals. Tempting as that may be for some institutions, our legal order functions as a bulwark against such actions.

E. ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

Eradicating race discrimination is a legitimate and worthy goal. All Montana governmental entities can and must work to prevent discrimination prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause, Title VI, the Montana Constitution, the MHRA, and (where applicable) Title VII. These laws protect everyone from unlawful discrimination and symbolize our nation’s serious commitment to its ideals. It should be no surprise therefore that these legal safeguards cannot allow race-based discrimination, even when it comes disguised as antiracist remedial measures. See Adarand, 515 U.S. at 240 (Thomas, J., concurring) (“[T]here is a moral [and] constitutional equivalence be- tween laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race in order to foster some current notion of equality. Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law.”) (quotations omitted). I conclude, therefore, that key elements of Critical Race Theory and so-called “antiracism” education and training, when used to classify students or other Montanans by race, violate the Equal Protection Clause, Title VI, Montana’s Individual Dignity Clause, and the MHRA.

The term “antiracism” appears reasonable and innocuous on its face. After all, our Constitution, our laws, and nearly all our citizens are “antiracism.” But “antirac- ism,” as a name for Kendi’s and DiAngelo’s all-encompassing worldview, is an Orwellian rhetorical weapon.67 It does not simply mean the opposition of differential treatment based on race. According to Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, “[t]he only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past

66 Letter from Reed Rubinstein, U.S. Dep’t of Ed. General Counsel to Christopher Eisgruber, President, Princeton University (Jan. 13, 2021), https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/correspondence/stake- holders/20210113-investigation-of-princeton-university.pdf.

67 “At times, anti-racist excess shades over into the literally Orwellian, such as when Brooklyn College professor of math education Laurie Rubel insists that declaring ‘2 + 2 = 4’ is nothing more than ‘white supremacist patriarchy.’” Frederick Hess, ‘Anti-racist’ education is neither, THE AMERICAN MIND (Dec. 18, 2020), https://www.aei.org/articles/anti-racist-education-is-neither/.page18image4228901792page18image4228902080page18image4228902368page18image4228902656

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discrimination is present discrimination … The only remedy to present discrimina- tion is future discrimination.” As I discuss in greater detail below, Kendi’s description is correct: antiracism demands race-based discrimination.

But first let me state the obvious. Committing racial discrimination in the name of ending racial discrimination is both illogical and illegal. See Parents In- volved, 551 U.S. at 748 (plurality opinion) (“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”); Fisher I, 570 U.S. at 330 (Thomas, J. concurring) (“[T]he lesson of history is clear enough: Racial discrimina- tion is never benign.”); see also Metro Broad. v. FCC, 497 U.S. 547, 610 (1990) (O’Connor, J., dissenting) (“‘[B]enign’ carries with it no independent meaning, but reflects only acceptance of the current generation’s conclusion that a politically ac- ceptable burden, imposed on particular citizens on the basis of race, is reasonable.”).

To assist schools and other governmental entities with compliance, what fol- lows is a list of widely reported “antiracist” and CRT-related activities that I conclude violate federal and state law. Though hostile environment claims are based on the totality of the circumstances and will likely depend on a particular case’s facts, I have identified several bright line rules. They fall under three prohibited categories (which often overlap): racial segregation, race stereotyping, and race scapegoating. These concepts violate civil rights laws because they constitute racial harassment and/or require authority figures to engage in activities that result in different treatment on the basis of race.

As discussed, infra, there are legitimate pedagogical uses for elements of the CRT/antiracism curricula that do not violate state or federal law. Some aspects raise no legal concerns. Some only raise legal concerns when mandated or applied in a way that is discriminatory. And some may not be discriminatory without other elements contributing to a hostile environment under the circumstances. There are also as- pects of the curricula that may be expressly protected by the First Amendment. This opinion, therefore, should not be construed to limit a school or government entity’s ability to use, present, or discuss these materials, where appropriate. But the law will not tolerate schools, other government entities, or employers implementing CRT and antiracist programing in a way that treats individuals differently on the basis of race or that creates a hostile environment.

It should go without saying that segregating students in any capacity on the basis of race blatantly violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI. See Brown, 347 U.S. at 495; Parents Involved, 551 U.S. at 778 (Thomas, J., concurring) (“What was wrong in 1954 cannot be right today.”). A school’s programs and activities must be open to all students, regardless of race. This extends to every aspect of a school’s program or activity, including classes, seminars, lectures, trainings, athletics, clubs, orientations, award ceremonies, graduations, or other meetings. This includes

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segregation that occurs in a virtual or online format. Schools also may not offer hous- ing, counseling, mentoring, liaisons, or networking in a way that favors or excludes individuals on the basis of race. Schools may not discourage members of any race from participating in any particular program or activity, or allow students or staff to be excluded on the basis of race. Schools also may not create “safe spaces” that admit or exclude individuals on the basis of race. This includes segregating students or administrators in a professional development training into groups on the basis of race.

Schools may not use race when administering their academic programs. This includes grading students differently or apply different grading criteria to students based on race. Neither schools nor instructors nor guest speakers may have students participate in class or complete assignments on the basis of their race. Schools also may not discipline students differently on the basis of race. Other government enti- ties and employers, similarly, may not segregate employees on the basis of race or treat them differently on the basis of race.

Government entities may not engage in racial stereotyping, which means as- cribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or to an individual because of his or her race. See Parents Involved, 551 U.S. at 797 (Kennedy, J., concurring) (“Under our Constitution the individual, child or adult, can find his own identity, can define her own persona, without state interven- tion that classifies on the basis of his race or the color of her skin.”); Miller v. Johnson, 515 U.S. 900, 927 (1995) (“If our society is to continue to progress as a multiracial democracy, it must recognize that the automatic invocation of race stereotypes re- tards that progress and causes continued hurt and injury.”) (quoting Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., 500 U.S. 614, 630-631 (1991)); Powers v. Ohio, 499 U.S. 400, 410 (1991) (“We may not accept as a defense to racial discrimination the very stereo- type the law condemns”); cf. Miller, 515 U.S. at 912 (“When the State assigns voters on the basis of race, it engages in the offensive and demeaning assumption that voters of a particular race, because of their race, think alike, share the same political inter- ests, and will prefer the same candidates at the polls.”) (quotations omitted); Fisher I, 570 U.S. at 308 (noting that one purpose of encouraging student body diversity was the “lessening of racial isolation and stereotypes.”).

Prohibited race stereotyping includes all exercises that ascribe specific charac- teristics or qualities to all members of a racial group, particularly when participation in such exercises is compulsory or acceptance of certain stereotypes is required as part of the grading criteria. Schools, other government, entities, and employers may not use materials that assert that one race is inherently superior or inferior to an- other. Individuals may not be forced participate in “privilege walks” that treat students differently based on race. Individuals may not be forced to admit privilege or punished for failing to do so. Members of certain races cannot be forced to “reflect,”

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“deconstruct,” or “confront” their racial identities or be instructed to be “less white” (or less of any other race, ethnicity, or national origin).

Schools are similarly not permitted to ask that certain students engage, or not engage, with the class in a specific manner based on race. Public employers may not use similar tactics for mandatory trainings.

Government entities also may not engage in ‘‘race scapegoating,’’ which means assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or to members of a race because of their race. See Miller, 515 U.S. at 911 (“At the heart of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection lies the simple command that the Government must treat citizens as indi- viduals, not as simply components of a racial, religious, sexual or national class.”) (quotations omitted). This encompasses any claim that, consciously or unconsciously, and by virtue of his or her race, members of any race are inherently racist or are inherently inclined to oppress others, including separating students into “oppressors” and “oppressed” based on race. Examples consist of instructing students that all white people perpetuate systemic racism or that all white people are born racist. This also includes asserting that an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or that individuals need to be “accountable” due solely to their race, or that they are “culpable” solely due to their race. Individuals may not be instructed or compelled to apologize for their race or forced to admit privilege based on their race. It is illegal, likewise, to advocate that a particular race is negative or evil. It is also illegal for curricula to instruct student that members of a particular race or racial identity pose specific dangers to other individuals.

Additionally, a school that permits, promotes, or endorses curricula or peda- gogical methods that tell an individual that he or she should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, almost certainly creates a racially hostile environment. See 59 Fed. Reg. at 11453 (citing Gilbert v. Little Rock, 722 F.2d 1390, 1394 (8th Cir. 1983) (environment “which significantly and adversely affects the psychological well-being of an employee be- cause of his or her race” is enough to constitute title VII violation); Bundy v. Jackson, 641 F.2d 934, 943-45 (D.C. Cir. 1981) (protection against race and sex discrimination extends to “psychological and emotional work environment”)).

A school may not advocate that students adopt specific beliefs based on their race, such as urging that white students be white without signing on to whiteness. Schools may not attempt to purge the idea of “whiteness” (or any other race) from schools. Any curricula or activity that pressures members of a certain race to repu- diate or “recover from” their race is illegal as well. This includes instructing members of a particular race or races that they must “re-wire” or change themselves.

These actions are discriminatory. See Missouri v. Jenkins, 515 U.S. 70, 120- 21

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121 (1995) (Thomas, J., concurring) (“At the heart of [Equal Protection] lies the prin- ciple that the government must treat citizens as individuals, and not as members of racial, ethnic, or religious groups.”). They are equally insidious when applied to any race. Parents Involved, 551 U.S. at 797 (Kennedy, J., concurring) (Racial labels, whether state-mandated or state-sponsored, are “inconsistent with the dignity of in- dividuals in our society.”); see also Letter from Peter Kirsanow, Comm’r, U.S. Civil Rights Comm’n, to Jenny A. Durkan, Mayor of Seattle, Washington, regarding “In- ternalized Racial Superiority for White People” (Aug. 31, 2020) (“Kirsanow Letter”) (“[w]hen in doubt whether a statement is racist [or just plain dumb] try substituting a race different from that in your original sentence.”). Trainings and programming like that discussed above perpetuate and glorify racial stereotypes and division. This upside-down ideology may be fashionable with the armchair revolutionaries in aca- demia, but its compulsions have no place in our governmental, educational, and employment settings.

It is constitutionally insufficient that proponents of CRT and “antiracism” may possess the laudable goal of ending racism and its effects. See Parents Involved, 551 U.S. at 743 (plurality opinion) (“Simply because the school districts may seek a wor- thy goal does not mean they are free to discriminate on the basis of race to achieve it, or that their racial classifications should be subject to less exacting scrutiny.”); Fisher I, 570 U.S. at 328 (Thomas, J., concurring) (“The worst forms of racial discrimination in this Nation have always been accompanied by straight-faced representations that discrimination helped minorities.”); see also Kirsanow Letter, supra (“There’s no ex- ception in Title VII that says, ‘unless you have good intentions’ … Segregation is still prohibited in 2020.”). The Supreme Court, as discussed, has only recognized the use of race in two narrow circumstances—neither of which make room for the compul- sions of CRT and antiracism theories. These assertions, moreover, may not be used as a pretext to discriminate against individuals based on race.

Finally, I would like to briefly discuss one important aspect of this issue in the educational context. Federal and state civil rights laws protect students from prohib- ited discrimination, but they are not intended to restrict expressive activities or speech protected under the First Amendment. There are numerous bad ideas68 and fraudulent curricula69 that do not violate civil rights laws. Nothing in this opinion

68 E.g., KARL MARX, THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO (1848).

69 For example, the New York Times’ 1619 Project has been debunked by historians across the spec- trum. See Letter to the Editor: We Respond to the Historians Who Critiqued The 1619 Project, N.Y. TIMES (Dec. 29, 2019) (“[W]e are dismayed at some of the factual errors in the project and the closed process behind it. These errors, which concern major events, cannot be described as interpretation or ‘framing.’ They are matters of verifiable fact, which are the foundation of both honest scholarship and honest journalism. They suggest a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.”). This cur- riculum is nonetheless protected by the First Amendment and it is reserved for policymakers to decide if it belongs in classrooms.page22image4226907856

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shall be construed to restrict any expressive activities protected under the U.S. Con- stitution, including academic freedom or student political speech. See, e.g.Keyishian v. Bd. of Regents, 385 U.S. 589 (1967).70 Thus, when evaluating whether antidiscrim- ination protections threaten to chill the teaching of curricula that may offer great value to students, First Amendment caselaw takes into account a school’s legitimate pedagogical interest in explaining and effectively and lawfully addressing racism. See Arce v. Douglas, 793 F.3d 968, 985 (9th Cir. 2015). Hostile environment caselaw, similarly, takes the totality of the circumstances into account, including the age of the student. See 59 Fed. Reg. at 11449, 11452; Harris, 510 U.S. at 23. CRT and antiracist ideas may be bandied about like any others. Let the marketplace of ideas be the judge. I predict it will not be kind. This opinion concerns race-based treat- ment, classifications, and compulsions that arise from CRT and antiracism theory.

Finally, government entities such as public schools, public colleges and univer- sities, and government agencies are subject to the First Amendment. The First Amendment prevents the government from restricting protected speech, but it also prevents compelled speech. W. Va. State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 637 (1943). “[F]reedom of speech ‘includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all.’” Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448, 2463 (2018) (quoting Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U. S. 705, 714 (1977) (invalidating state re- quirement that motorists display passenger vehicle license plates bearing motto “Live Free or Die”)). As the Court famously said in Barnette, “[i]f there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” Barnette, 319 U.S. at 642 (hold- ing that schools could not require children to salute the American flag).

Trainings, exercises, or assignments which force students or employees to ad- mit, accept, affirm, or support controversial concepts such as privilege, culpability, identity, or status, constitute compelled speech. See Janus, 138 S. Ct. at 2464 (“Forc- ing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning, and for this reason, one of our landmark free speech cases said that a law commanding ‘involuntary affirmation’ of objected-to beliefs would require ‘even more immediate and urgent grounds’ than a law demanding silence.”) (quoting Barnette, 319 U.S. at 633)). It is obvious that CRT and antiracism programming take strident positions on some of the most controversial political, societal, and philosoph- ical issues of our time. Compelling students, trainees, or anyone else to mouth support for those same positions not only assaults individual dignity, it undermines the search for truth, our institutions, and our democratic system. See Janus, 138 S. at 2464; cf. Barnette, 319 U.S. at 637 (“Free public education, if faithful to the ideal

70 U.S. Dep’t. of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter: First Amendment (July 28, 2003), https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/firstamend.html.page23image4225996272page23image4225996560

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of secular instruction and political neutrality, will not be partisan or enemy of any class, creed, party, or faction.”).

F. ENFORCEMENT

The Office of the Attorney General stands ready to assist OPI, as well as par- ents, students, employees, and other individuals with complaints of unlawful race- based discrimination. Schools or other entities that violate state or federal civil rights laws jeopardize their funding and may be liable for damages. There are a variety of legal avenues available for victims of discrimination. For violations of the Individual Dignity Clause and the MHRA, individuals should file complaints with the Montana Human Rights Bureau.71 For violations of Title VI and the Equal Protection Clause, students and parents may either file a lawsuit directly against their school or file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. For violations of Title VII, em- ployees should file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.72page24image4216932144

71 See Filing a Complaint, MONTANA DEP’T. LABOR & INDUST., https://erd.dli.mt.gov/human-rights/fil- ing-a-complaint/#:~:text=Filing%20a%20Complaint,- How%20To%20File&text=A%20person%20who%20be- lieves%20that,%2D800%2D542%2D0807.&text=A%20formal%20complaint%20must%20be,of%20the %20alleged%20discriminatory%20action.

72 See Filing a Lawsuit, U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, https://www.eeoc.gov/fil- ing-lawsuit.page24image4216977472page24image4216977760page24image4216978048page24image4216978336page24image4216978624page24image4216978912page24image4216979328

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CONCLUSION

According to Lincoln, the Declaration’s central proposition that all men are created equal was the “standard maxim for a free society.” Abraham Lincoln, Spring- field Speech (June 26, 1857), in 2 COLLECTED WORKS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 406 (Roy P. Basler ed. 1953). Even today, it remains our true north—“familiar to all … revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere.” Id. Frederick Douglass called these “saving principles.” Frederick Douglas, Speech, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (July 5, 1852).

These same principles guide us today. And they stand athwart any attempt to return to and glorify the sins of the past, however well-intentioned they may now appear. The Founders, as Lincoln said, “meant [these principles] to be … a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism.” Lincoln, Springfield Speech, supra. The only viable path to a more just future and a more perfect union is to live up to our creed, not to abandon it.

Sincerely,

Austin Knudsen ATTORNEY GENERAL

REVEALED: Israeli firm NSO Group spent millions trying to woo the US government and gave huge payments to Washington lobbyists, consultants and lawyers to push its Pegasus spyware software before it was used to hack reporters’ phones

  • The Pegasus Project revealed that NSO Group tapped some of Washington’s most influential figures to burnish its image 
  • They included Michael Flynn in the months before he became President Trump’s national security adviser
  • And Rod Rosenstein advised it on a legal case after leaving his post as deputy attorney general
  • Details emerged amid continuing fall-out from news that the cyberintelligence company helped governments spy on opponents and journalists
  • NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio said the claims were ‘concerning’ and that it was investigating the allegations
  • Amnesty International and a consortium of media outlets published claims on Sunday that foreign governments were using its software to hack phones 
  • They compiled a list of 50,000 phone numbers that might have been hacked 

By ROB CRILLY, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER and JEN SMITH FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 16:03 EDT, 20 July 2021 | UPDATED: 16:06 EDT, 20 July 2021 

Ethics filings and company records show how the Israeli cyberintelligence company NSO Group spent millions of dollars on Washington lobbyists, consultants and lawyers as it tried to sell its Pegasus spyware to the U.S. government.

Its parent companies paid $100,000 to Michael Flynn before he became President Trump‘s national security adviser; it took on the public relations firm cofounded by Anita Dunn, a senior White House adviser; and it relied on the legal and consulting services of a slew of figures with government experience, according to new reports.

The company’s activities have exploded into public view during the past week with revelations from a media coalition, called the Pegasus Project, that its software was used by governments to spy on political opponents and journalist

Now it has emerged in the Washington Post that NSO, its founders or allied companies hired some of Washington’s most prominent names as they tried to secure government contracts.

The include former heads of the Homeland Security and Justice departments as well as some of the city’s most powerful public-relations and law firms.Michael Flynn was paid roughly $100,000 by NSO Group's parent company before he joined the Trump administration

Rod Rosenstein worked as an adviser to NSO Group when it was sued by WhatsApp last year+11

The Israeli cyberintelligence company NSO Group retained some of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists, consultants and PR advisers as it touted for business and tried to burnish its image, including President Trump’s future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (left) and his former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinTom Ridge, former homeland security secretary+11

Anita Dunn co-founded P.R. firm SKSD and is now a senior adviser at the White House+11

Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, was taken on in 2019 after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, according to the Washington Post. And NSO Group also hired P.R. firm SKSD, which was includes Anita Dunn, now a

It even launched a separate company, Westridge Technologies, to pursue government contracts, pitching to the Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement agencies – although the newspaper reported the approaches were unsuccessful. 

More successful were its attempts to build a D.C. rolodex filled with influencers.  Some were hired in the aftermath of the Saudi murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi when the company faced a lawsuit accusing it of helping surveil the dissident.

They included Tom Ridge, the first homeland security secretary; Juliette Kayyem, a Department of Homeland Security official under President Obama; and Franc’s former ambassador to Washington Gérard Araud.

Kayyem told the newspaper she had worked on ensuring NSO’s spyware ‘protected and respected’ human rights. The other two did not respond to requests for comment.

It also took on a prominent P.R. firm SKDK. Its cofounder Anita Dunn was communications director in the Obama White House and is now a senior adviser to President Biden.

The Who’s Who of government figures runs through at least three administrations.

Obama’s homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson was paid by NSO’s parent company, OSY, to review its human rights policy.

And Trump’s deputy attorney general from 2017 to 2019 Rod Rosenstein, partner at the law firm King and Spalding, was among its advisers last year when NSO was sued by WhatsApp, which accused it of hacing the accounts of 1400 users.

Rosenstein had prosecuted foreign hackers and denounced the murder of Khashoggi as ‘lawless,’ during his time at the Department of Justice. Gérard Araud+11

Jeh Johnson

Others who did work for NSO Group or its parent company included former French ambassador and prominent Twitter personality Gérard Araud (left) and former Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

And a Public Financial Disclosure Report, filed when he joined the Trump administration, reportedly showed that NSO’s parent company, OSY Technologies, and a previous owner, Fancisco Partners, paid about $100,000 to Flynn, a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The form offered no further details about his work.  

The Israeli company said it would investigate its foreign government clients for ‘abuses’ of its Pegasus spyware after a damning Amnesty International report revealed on Sunday that it had been used to target some 50,000 phones – including those of journalists, public officials and Arab royals.

NSO Group sells Pegasus to government clients with the purported purpose of investigating terrorism and crime. 

The Amnesty International report, along with another by a consortium of global media outlets, claimed that it was actually being used by governments to spy on journalists, officials, royals and individuals including murdered Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s widow.

The journalists targeted included Ben Hubbard, the New York Times’ Beirut Bureau Chief, and Azam Ahmed, the Times’ Mexico Bureau Chief, along with other journalists based in India, the Morocco, Mexico and Azerbaijan.

Others include reporters working for the Associated Press, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and CNN but many have not been named. 189 journalists were targeted. 

NSO released a statement via its US-based lawyer, Clare Locke, to say it had nothing to do with any misuse of Pegasus. 

Its CEO, Shalev Hulio, told The Washington Post: ‘Every allegation about misuse of the system is concerning me. The list includes some the 50,000 phone numbers that were exposed to the malware. The malware doesn't require users to click on it for it to work+11

The list includes some the 50,000 phone numbers that were exposed to the malware. The malware doesn’t require users to click on it for it to work

NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio, told The Washington Post : 'Every allegation about misuse of the system is concerning me'

NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio, told The Washington Post : ‘Every allegation about misuse of the system is concerning me’ 

‘It violates the trust that we give customers. We are investigating every allegation … and if we find that it is true, we will take strong action.’  

Amazon Web Services has disabled its network on Tuesday. It’s unclear if that means it can still operate. 

‘When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts.’ 

The Amnesty report says NSO switched to use Amazon’s CloudFront – a CDN – in ‘recent months’. 

Amnesty started investigating the group in 2018 after learning one of its staffers had been targeted. 

It compiled a list of 50,000 phone numbers that were exposed to the malware. It’s unclear if all were compromised or if the numbers are just a list of potential targets.

A spokesman for AP, which had two journalists targeted, told DailyMail.com: ‘We are deeply troubled to learn that two AP journalists, along with journalists from many news organizations, are among those who may have been targeted by Pegasus spyware. We have taken steps to ensure the security of our journalists’ devices and are investigating.’ 

The New York Times said: ‘Azam Ahmed and Ben Hubbard are talented journalists who have done important work uncovering information that governments did not want their citizens to know.

‘Surveilling reporters is designed to intimidate not only those journalists but their sources, which should be of concern to everyone.’ Ben Hubbard+11

Azam Ahmed+11

The journalists targeted included Ben Hubbard, the New York Times’ Beirut Bureau Chief (left) and Azam Ahmed, the Times’ Mexico Bureau Chief (right) along with other journalists based in India, the Morocco, Mexico and Azerbaijan.Hanan El Atr, the widow of murdered Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was also targeted, according to the data+11

Hanan El Atr, the widow of murdered Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was also targeted, according to the dataFinancial Times editor Roula Khalaf was also among those whose phones were targeted+11

Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf was also among those whose phones were targeted 

In a statement through lawyers Clare Locke, NSO said: ‘NSO does not operate the systems that it sells to vetted government customers, and does not have access to the data of its customers’ targets. 

‘NSO does not operate its technology, does not collect, nor possesses, nor has any access to any kind of data of its customers. 

NSO Group claims it is on a 'life-saving mission' to combat terrorism

NSO Group claims it is on a ‘life-saving mission’ to combat terrorism

‘Due to contractual and national security considerations, NSO cannot confirm or deny the identity of our government customers, as well as identity of customers of which we have shut down systems.’ 

It also said its software had ‘nothing to do’ with Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, despite Amnesty International claiming it has proof his widow’s phone was hacked using Pegasus after his death.

‘NSO Group is on a life-saving mission, and the company will faithfully execute this mission undeterred, despite any and all continued attempts to discredit it on false grounds,’ it said. 

Foreign governments including India, Rwanda and Morocco have all denied using the software to collect data on targets. 

Others targeted include  several Arab royal family members, 65 Business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists including a ‘small number from’ CNN, the Associated Press, Voice of America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Le Monde in France, the Financial Times in London and Al Jazeera in Qatar.

Some of the reporters are named Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf, Siddharth Varadarajan and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta from Indian news site Wire Omar Radi, a Moroccan journalist, Mexican freelance journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto and Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova. 

In 2019, NSO Group reportedly contracted the SKDK –  a PR firm run by Anita Dunn, one of President Biden’s advisers. 

She did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiries about the scope of her work with the firm.  

Welcome to the Brave New America

A realistic look at what the Left is trying to accomplish—and likely will—unless we all band together to stop them and save our country.

By Jim Hanson

The Left is achieving their fundamental transformation of America into a socialist hellhole,  consolidating control over our major institutions and enacting truly radical policies and programs. It’s easy to get distracted by these policies—critical race theory is bad, cancel culture is bad. But we can’t lose focus on their ultimate goal. The desired end state for the Left is The State.

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is the DIY manual for building their Brave New World. The Left will only be happy when they have attained totalitarian power. They see the Constitution with all those pesky restrictions and our entire federal republic as an impediment to their plan to social engineer better humans and build a society to keep those engineered humans in line. The dystopian utopia they envision can’t work, but they can break the republic in the process of trying.

Three interesting developments this week put things in clear focus. The communist paradise of Cuba is experiencing a revolt of people chanting “Freedom,” with some waving American flags. The FBI saw fit to release a tweet recruiting Americans to become informants against their own families, eerily reminiscent of the secret police in all communist countries. 

And Jack Posobiec reports the Biden Administration is going to release an enemies list based on influencers followed by those arrested at the Capitol riot. 

They are going full totalitarian and have moved into what Wesley Yang calls Successor Ideology, which views modern liberalism as far too soft. Modern liberalism was not willing to break things, like the republic or pro forma respect for our Constitution and our civil society, to achieve the change the Left’s secular religion demands. The new woke Left, however, is willing to burn it all to the ground and attempt to build a communist paradise from the ashes.

It is up to us to stop them. This imminent danger moved me to leave foreign policy and national security where I have spent most of my adult career in order to focus on the culture war here in America. The most pressing threat we face, by far, is domestic. We either stop the Left in their quest, or they will destroy us long before any foreign enemy can.

It led me to write Winning the Second Civil War: Without Firing a Shot. In the short time since it was released, there has been a groundswell of proud Americans standing up and fighting back. But we need more, many more. This piece lays out a realistic look at what the Left is trying to accomplish, and likely will, unless we all band together to stop them and save our country.

Welcome to WokeTopia 2031

Scenario: School Daze

Bob dreaded the trip to his daughter’s school. He knew why he’d been summoned, and he knew the likely outcome. Irina had almost certainly been engaging in hate speech again. It was only a question of which kind. The rules were so fluid you could start an innocuous sentence and, by the time you finished, have run afoul of a new diktat.

He sat in a row of chairs outside the Diversity & Inclusion Commissar’s office and immediately noticed the dejected looks on the other parents’ faces. They all feared the nuclear option for their kids and none of them even wanted to make eye contact for fear of consorting with an enemy of the state.

When his name was called, Bob shuffled into the sterile office. It was remarkably void of any pictures, art, or representations of anything other than one-line directives: “The right to be free from offense for all students is our primary goal”; “Think who may be hurt before you speak”; and, “The underserved deserve their time at the top.”

Ms. Smith glared at him over the top of her glasses and motioned to a student-sized chair for him to sit on. She was a middle-aged, middle-looking, middle-sized bureaucrat with a middle-melanin level, which Bob assumed made her BIPOC but he couldn’t be certain. He knew better than to use gender or race-specific terms.

“Your daughter, Mr. Whiting. Once again, we are here to discuss your daughter,” Ms. Smith intoned.

Bob nodded his head and tried to look apologetic. His 14-year-old daughter had been in trouble numerous times recently for failure to accept her whiteness and her reduced status as a member of the oppressor class.

“Irina is causing significant distress for the other students,” Ms. Smith informed him. “She has been hectoring them with talk about her right to free speech and even worse that she can say what she wants even if it hurts their feelings. Fortunately at least one member of your family understands the damage this speech violence causes. Your son Sean gave us a full report on her un-Woke activities.”

Bob tried to look shocked as if he couldn’t understand where Irina could have gotten these wild ideas, but sadly it didn’t surprise him that Sean was the informant. He had become an insufferable member of the Woke Youth. “Perhaps Irina’s just trying to generate positive conversation, so the other students can correct her,” Bob tried as a deflection.

Smith shot back, “Mr. Whiting, what part of hate speech is violence do you not understand? When the Supreme Court ruled 13-6 in Obama v. America, this became the law of the land.” She thought to herself, Thank Gaia we made DC and Puerto Rico states to break the Senate log jam and added extra seats to the Supreme Court.

She continued informing Mr. Whiting, “Irina regularly uses gender-specific pronouns and patriarchal terms. Just the other day, she said ‘All men are created equal.’ Can you imagine the distress that causes the rest of the children?”

But Ms. Smith, that is an actual quote from the Declaration of Independence,” Bob pointed out. “Isn’t that an exception?”

“A document written by slave owners declaring ‘All men are created equal’ is quite possibly the most heinous example of hate speech I am aware of” Smith exclaimed. “If this is the type of thing you’re teaching your children at home, I can see why we’ve reached this impasse with your daughter.”

There it was. Bob realized she was dropping the hammer on Irina.

“I’m afraid your daughter is no longer safe for the rest of our students to be around, Mr. Whiting,” Smith announced. “As of next week, she will be assigned to the WokeRehab school until she can demonstrate an ability to fully understand her role as last among equals.”

Sadly, no. Much of this is already happening to one degree or another. Look at all these schools that conduct something called a “Privilege Walk.” This involves all students lining up and then taking steps forward or backward based on supposed privileges they have or are denied. These always include whiteness as a privilege. This divisive, racist event tells white kids that they did not earn their achievements and black kids that they were unfairly denied theirs

This is all based on supposed systemic racism, which is the invention of the critical race theory (CRT) so much under discussion recently. Things like the Privilege Walk and antiracism training use the concept of systemic racism to call for changes to our systems that they now demand produce equity, i.e. equality of outcome. But that ignores the fatal flaw of CRT: it takes any disparate outcome for blacks and attributes it to systemic racism and eliminates any other possibilities for the difference.

Ibram X. Kendi is the author of How to Be an Antiracist and in a piece for Politico he called for an Antiracist Amendment to the Constitution based on these two “facts”:

Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals.

Total agreement on the second half; different racial groups are equals. Complete disagreement that inequity is evidence of anything but inequity. It is not just shoddy logic, but offensively bad analysis.

That is not how statistical analysis works. All possible factors must be examined to determine which are most highly correlated with the disparate outcome identified. The claim that systemic racism causes almost all of the bad outcomes for blacks doesn’t stand up to scrutiny as I outlined in my book The Myth of White Fragility. Many other cultural factors are much more highly correlated.

A common theme in media discussion of this topic is to say, as this piece does

‘If you don’t believe systemic racism is real, explain these statistics’

And then they present these mostly undisputed examples of disparate outcomes followed by an ‘a ha’ claim that a supposed inability to dispute them is proof of their validity as causation of systemic racism.

Again, not how any of this works. Regardless of the seemingly nice fit between Black achievement issues and racism as the cause, the burden of proof rests with the one making the assertion. Requiring others to disprove the claim without first having proved the point is ludicrous. Correlation is not causation and there is no exemption for social justice causes.

The book examined many inequities that were attributed to systemic racism and found much better correlations with other pathologies. We looked at a violent crime rate for blacks that is three times their percentage of the population. Committing violence against another human of the same race is an act of personal choice, unless you make the racist claim that black people lack agency. That makes it nearly impossible to attribute these crimes to an unseeable, systemic racism. 

The number one predictive factor for a child of any race to become a criminal is a fatherless home. Sadly, black children are much more likely to be in single parent homes.

Overall, there are significant differences in the racial and ethnic profiles of solo and cohabiting parents. Among solo parents, 42% are white and 28% are black, compared with 55% of cohabiting parents who are white and 13% who are black.

The acceptance of these school programs based on the unproven CRT assertion that America and all our institutions are racist leads to false programming of all kids. Black kids believe white oppression keeps them from their full potential and white kids that their gains come unfairly at the expense of others. Neither has been proven to be true, but the indoctrination goes on full force.

Scenario: Your Friendly Neighborhood Thought Police

Becky was enjoying a quiet night at home binge-watching 90s sitcoms when the knock on the door came. She wasn’t expecting anyone, so she was surprised to get visitors so late. She opened the door to see two non-descript functionaries of the type who populate almost any government office. 

The taller and apparently male one spoke first as the petite female-appearing one was typing on a tablet. “Good evening. We are with the Department of Homeland Security. May I request your pronouns?”

“Shit,” she thought. “I bet this is about those drunk tweets last week. I should have deleted them quicker.” “Uh, I am a woman if that is what you’re asking,” She replied.

“Excellent,” the HLS rep replied. “We will use feminine pronouns and references. I’m Agent Smith and this is also Agent Smith. We both identify as male. We are here as part of a domestic extremism investigation. May we come in?”

Double shit! WTH did I tweet that would bring the actual Thought Police to my door? I don’t recall being that drunk,” Becky wondered. “May I see some identification?” she asked.

Both agents pulled out badge holders with a detective-style gold badge and the title:

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY—DOMESTIC EXTREMISM TASK FORCE (DETF).

Becky noticed that under the title it said: Contract Agents from Task Force Partner Twitter. “Are you federal agents?” she asked.

“No Ma’am,” the shorter male Agent Smith answered. “We are part of the Silicon Valley office of DETF and although we are civilian employees of Twitter, we have been given full police authority in all matters related to the Task Force’s mission. Shall we sit down and talk?”

“Can my husband join us?” Becky inquired.

“Negative Ma’am.” Smith replied. “We will need to speak to you privately. Agent Smith will sit with your husband to gather some additional information.” Just then yet another larger and beefier Smith appeared and walked into the den where she heard a heated discussion start and end with her husband.

The two original Smiths walked her into her living room and took seats on the couch. Smith One continued to do most of the talking while Smith Two entered data. “Ma’am is @BeckyJacksEm your Twitter handle and Becky Jackson your Facebook username?”

“Yes, that is correct,” Becky managed to say despite her guts starting to quiver. “Why do you ask?”

Smith One responded, “We’ll get to that, but first we have to establish some facts. Did you tweet on Jan. 6, 2031 ‘Ten years since the Capitol rally. Too many people still in jail.’ And also post the same message on Facebook with a picture of prisoners in orange jumpsuits labeled Twitmo?”

Becky knew she was on shaky ground, but they obviously had access to her accounts so no point lying. “Yes, I did. But just because I feel bad for the people still in jail.”

Both Agents Smith looked at each other and gave an almost imperceptible nod of concurrence. Smith Two stopped typing and asked, “Ma’am are you aware the Domestic Extremism Extermination Program (DEEP) allows us to keep extremists deemed a threat under indefinite detention which is why the Capitol Insurrectionists remain detained?”

“I g-guess so,” Becky stammered, not at all comfortable with the direction of the conversation.

Smith Two continued, “Are you also aware that it allows us to detain those offering material support to domestic terrorists?”

“What?” Becky exclaimed. “It was a tweet for God’s sake. How is that material support?”

Smith One answered, “Ma’am the Capitol insurrection was largely planned using social media and the traitor Trump used it to incite a large segment of the population to violence. Propagating terrorist propaganda is a named offense. We are empowered to do what is necessary to ensure that never happens again. You need to come with us.”

* * *

Far-fetched? Again, it’s mostly based on events that have already occurred or are planned by the current administration. 

There are a number of people who participated in the three-hour riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, who have spent more than six months in solitary confinement. Some didn’t even commit a single violent act but have been deemed threats to the public. Others are being made to renounce their bad acts in a twisted analogue to Chinese Communist struggle sessions where offenders publicly humiliate themselves while renouncing their evil deeds.

about:blankabout:blankThe partnership between the government and the tech tyrants is already well-established and has been used to limit speech the leftist social media firms dislike. They seized on an even more powerful way to achieve their goal of limiting the public’s access to information they want suppressed. They labeled the January 6 event an insurrection or domestic terrorism despite zero evidence of any conspiracy to attack the Capitol.

This allowed them to place their suppression operations under the umbrella of counterterrorism. It offers so many more tools and makes it harder for anyone to oppose it. Who likes terrorism? But the ability to determine who is a terrorist and then what information supports terrorism is a powerful weapon. We have already seen it abused in the overcharging and massive dragnet for Capitol rioters to include many hundreds who simply walked in and took selfies once the police opened the doors.

As I have argued elsewhere, now this thought police ideology is enshrined in the new National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism.

The Biden domestic terror strategy looks to institutionalize this unequal treatment and shut down the ability of citizens on the political right to exercise many constitutionally guaranteed natural rights. They start with free speech and propose to partner with the tech tyrants to further marginalize or eliminate ideas they dislike or disagree with: ‘These efforts speak to a broader priority: enhancing faith in government and addressing the extreme polarization, fueled by a crisis of disinformation and misinformation often channeled through social media platforms, which can tear Americans apart and lead some to violence.’ 

Translation: Your ideas are dangerous to our ability to aggregate state power, and we are going to shut you down.

The trick the administration is trying to implement is outsourcing censorship of speech to Silicon Valley to avoid the most basic protection we have, the First Amendment. The government can’t abridge our speech but Google, Twitter, and Facebook can. And they are. Now they just got a hunting license from the government that says any right-leaning content is fair game along with those who propagate it. 

about:blankScenario: We’re Here for Your Guns

Samuel was frantic. It had been three days and he was unable to find which facility his wife was being held in for her thought crimes. He was informed that she was detained for questioning; therefore, she had no right to counsel. Since she was suspected of Digital Material Support for Terrorism she was subject to detention for as long as the government deemed necessary under the provisions of the Domestic Extremism Extermination (DEEP) Act.

Sam was researching the provisions of DEEP when his computer locked up. Then he tried his phone, but had no connectivity on it either and he couldn’t open any apps or make a call. As he was puzzling through this, he heard the alarm system switch itself off and then the lights went out.

He heard a massive bang at the front door and an immediate explosion with multiple blinding flashes of light. This knocked him to his knees. The next thing he knew, he was flat on his back with two fully combat-kitted cops kneeling on his chest and legs.

“Freeze all motion and comply with all commands you receive. Do you understand?” was the instruction from the one on his chest.

Sam coughed and croaked out the best “Yes” he could.

The door-kicker on his chest continued, “You are being detained by the Domestic Extremist Task Force. We are going to restrain you. You are advised to follow all commands.” At this point the lights came back on and Sam could see his own angry reflection in the storm trooper’s mirrored full-face mask.

Once they had zip-cuffed his hands and feet, they placed him on his couch. The fed removed his helmet and said, “I am Agent Smith and this is my partner Agent Smith. May we request your pronouns?”

about:blankabout:blank“I’m a man,” Sam answered feeling a twisted déjà vu as he recalled the other Agents Smith asking his wife the same questions. ”What the Hell is going on here?”

“We will allow you to ask questions when we have finished securing the area,” Smith replied. “During your wife’s investigation we learned through social media that you are in possession of multiple firearms. You are required to identify their locations and any countermeasures used to secure them.”

Sam was stunned. He only had two guns and he had bought them long before the Firearms Sensibility Act was passed. The new legislation passed in 2029 and signed by President Ocasio-Cortez required all weapons to be registered or surrendered if they violated the restrictions against all multi-shot capable weapons. A special, nearly impossible to get, permit for any weapon that had more than a single shot capability of any kind was also part of the new law. 

He had registered the guns, a .38 cal revolver and a 5.56 Ruger Mini-14 ranch rifle, when he bought them 10 years ago. That year, he and Becky’s brother took shooting lessons at a local range to learn about guns and be responsible gun owners. He posted pictures of them holding their Firearms Training Certificates on Facebook with the caption “If you own ‘em, be responsible. Take a Firearms Training course and keep them safely secured.” He never thought the feds would come kicking in doors to confiscate them. Apparently, he was taking too long to answer so Smith One walked over and leaned in his face barking, “The guns Sir, WHERE ARE THE GUNS?”

Sam knew he was screwed at this point, and he didn’t feel like just rolling over as they removed the last vestige of his Constitutional freedoms. Chief Justice Buttigieg had written the Supreme Court decision upholding the Firearm Sensibility Act which stated that the Second Amendment applied only to those weapons in common use at the time the Constitution was written. This meant modern versions of muskets and other single-shot guns.

about:blank“Don’t you have to notify me and give me 30 days to present my weapons for inspection before you can confiscate them?” Sam asked.

The anger boiled in Smith One’s eyes and he reached back on his utility belt. Before Sam knew what was happening, Smith had tased him. When his convulsions began to subside, Smith held the taser aimed menacingly at Sam’s groin. “Our examination of social media postings shows you bought a 5.56 semiautomatic rifle with a detachable box magazine 10 years ago. That is now classified as a weapon of mass destruction and ATF Director O’Rourke has authorized the use of force to secure it for public safety. WHERE ARE THE GUNS?!”

Far-fetched? Maybe a little, but only because the Left has not managed to pack the Supreme Court. Yet. The biggest bullet we and the Second Amendment may have dodged was the potential reign of a President Hillary Clinton. If she, not Trump, had appointed the three justices we recently replaced, we would have a fundamentally different republic today.

Adding three more “Living Constitution” creative writers to the court would have put both the First and Second Amendments in serious jeopardy. How far they would have gone toward speech codes is debatable, but way too far for sure. There is no question they would have gutted the right to keep and bear arms. 

First would have been the Left’s long-desired ban on “Assault Weapons,” that amorphous and non-existent class including all semi-automatic weapons that look scary. Then the obvious expansion is to the rest of semi-automatic guns. They have been trying to do this for decades and the only thing stopping them is the precedent set out in the brilliant opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller.

It established a rock-solid individual right to own and bear any weapon in common use and suitable for use in the militia. Today that means AR-15s are solidly included in that protection. It also codified that a “well regulated militia” is not a government-operated or controlled entity and simply consists of all the able-bodied citizenry who could be called upon in emergency.

When written, the goal was to fix in perpetuity a citizen’s right to own relevant weapons they could fight with if ever called up to defend our country, or to use to depose a government that became intolerably tyrannical. That will go right into the dustbin if the Left gains control of the Supreme Court.

Avoiding the Brave New World of 2034

These vignettes help illustrate the immediacy of the threat before us. Most of the seemingly dystopian actions in them have either already happened or are being attempted currently. The statist Left has been stunningly successful over the past 50 years in their fundamental transformation of our country. The question remains: will we on the Right stand and fight successfully to save America?

The Left has moved into active, destructive, even sometimes violent revolution. They see any obstacles to their massive re-engineering project as not just wrong but evil. We can either submit or launch a counterattack.

I’ll be loading rhetorical and ideological magazines and preparing to figuratively storm their barricades. Hope to see you beside me.

Disclaimer: I meant every word of this and whichever petty bureaucrat has the chore of sifting through my digital history will not find a single instance of disloyalty or un-Constitutional behavior. 

Victor Davis Hanson: The secret that Biden, Obama, Hillary won’t say aloud about today’s Democratic Party

In the recent presidential primaries and general election, 17 of the 20 wealthiest ZIP codes gave more money to Democratic candidates than to Republicans

 By Victor Davis Hanson| Tribune Media Services

Victor Davis Hanson: ‘Woke’ CEOs think money, power will protect them

Hoover Institution senior fellow joins ‘The Ingraham Angle’ to discuss corporations surrendering to leftist mob

How often during the last year of wokeness have middle- and lower-class Americans listened to multimillionaires of all races and genders lecture them on their various pathologies and oppressions?

University presidents with million-dollar salaries virtue-signal on the cheap their own sort of “unearned white privilege.”

Meghan Markle and the Obamas, from their plush estates, indict Americans for their biases.

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors Brignac decries the oppressive victimization she and others have suffered — from one of her four recently acquired homes.

BLACK LIVES MATTER CO-FOUNDER PATRISSE CULLORS TO STEP DOWN AMID QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCES

Do we need another performance-art sermon on America’s innate unfairness from billionaire entertainers such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z or Oprah Winfrey, or from multimillionaire Delta or Coca-Cola CEOs?

During the 1980s cultural war, the left’s mantra was “race, class and gender.” Occasionally we still hear of that trifecta, but the class part has increasingly disappeared. The neglect of class is ironic given that a number of recent studies conclude class differences are widening as never before.

The Democratic Party does not wish to admit it has become the party of wealth. All too often its stale revolutionary speechifying sounds more like penance arising from guilt than genuine advocacy for middle-class citizens of all races.

Middle-class incomes among all races have stagnated, and family net worth has declined. Far greater percentages of rising incomes go to the already rich. Student debt, mostly a phenomenon of the middle and lower classes, has hit $1.7 trillion.Video

States such California have bifurcated into medieval-style societies. California’s progressive coastal elites boast some of the highest incomes in the nation. But in the more conservative north and central interior, nearly a third of the population lives below the poverty line — explaining why one of every three American welfare recipients lives in California.

California’s heating, cooling, gasoline and housing costs are the highest in the continental United States. Most of these spiraling costs are attributable to polices embraced by an upper-class elite — in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and marquee universities — whose incomes shield them from the deleterious consequences of their utopian bromides. The poor and middle classes have no such insulation.

So why are we not talking about class?

First, we are watching historic changes in political alignment.

The two parties are switching class constituents. Some 65% of the Americans making more than $500,000 a year are Democrats, and 74% of those who earn less than $100,000 a year are Republicans, according to IRS statistics. Gone are the days of working people automatically voting Democratic, or Republicans being caricatured as a party of stockbrokers on golf courses.

By 2018, Democratic representatives were in control of all 20 of the wealthiest congressional districts. In the recent presidential primaries and general election, 17 of the 20 wealthiest ZIP codes gave more money to Democratic candidates than to Republicans.Video

Increasingly, the Democrats are a bicoastal party of elites from corporate America, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, the media, universities, entertainment and professional sports. All have made out like bandits from globalization.

Democrats have lost much of their support from working-class whites, especially in the interior of the country. But they are also fast forfeiting the Hispanic middle class and beginning to lose solidarity among middle-class African Americans.

The Democratic Party does not wish to admit it has become the party of wealth. All too often its stale revolutionary speechifying sounds more like penance arising from guilt than genuine advocacy for middle-class citizens of all races.

The wealthy leftist elite has mastered the rhetoric of ridicule for the lower-middle classes, especially struggling Whites. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden wrote off their political opponents as supposedly crude, superstitious and racist, smearing them as “clingers,” “deplorables,” irredeemables” and “chumps.”

Class is fluid; race is immutable. So by fixating on race, the left believes that it can divide America into permanent victimizers and victims — at a time when race and class are increasingly disconnecting.

America is a plutocracy, not a genocracy. Wealth, not race, is the factor most likely to ensure someone power, influence and the good life.

The wealthy of all races are the loudest voices of the woke movement. Their frequent assumptions of “victimhood” are absurd.

Americans who struggle to pay soaring gas, food, energy and housing prices are berated for their “white privilege” by an array of well-paid academics, media elite and CEOs.

Note that the woke military is the brand of admirals, generals and retired top brass on corporate boards, not of the enlisted. It’s multimillionaire CEOs who bark at the nation for their prejudices, not saleswomen or company truck drivers.

America is a plutocracy, not a genocracy. Wealth, not race, is the factor most likely to ensure someone power, influence and the good life.

In the pre-civil rights past, race was often fused to class, and the two terms were logically used interchangeably to cite oppression and inequality. But such a canard is fossilized. And so are those who desperately cling to it.

The more the elites scream their woke banalities, the more they seem to fear that they, not most Americans, are really the privileged, coddled and pampered ones — and sometimes the victimizers.

(C) 2021 The Center for American Greatness

The Capitol Cover Up

Release the tapes. Release the name of Ashli Babbitt’s shooter. And release Joe Biden’s political prisoners.

By Julie Kelly

Judge G. Michael Harvey sounded floored.

During a detention hearing this week for Robert Morss, arrested last month for his involvement in the Capitol protest, a federal prosecutor told Harvey she needed permission from the government before she could turn over to him a slice of video related to Morss’ case. Joe Biden’s Justice Department continues to seek pre-trial detention for people who protested Biden’s election on January 6; prosecutors want to keep Morss, an Army ranger and high school history teacher with no criminal record, behind bars until his trial can begin next year.

But assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jackson hesitated when Judge Harvey asked to see the footage captured by the U.S. Capitol Police surveillance system cited as evidence in government charging documents.

“Why haven’t I seen the video?” Harvey asked Jackson on Wednesday afternoon. She told the judge he could have access to the body-worn camera recordings and public source videos but that the USCP footage is under a protective order, which is common in most January 6 cases.

After Morss’ defense attorney said the photographs in the charging documents did not accurately reflect the video evidence the government gave to her under discovery requirements, Harvey demanded to see it for himself. “And anything you show to me . . . I’ll issue a minute order to release it to the public as well.”

Jackson informed the court she would submit the missing video evidence on Friday.

The hearing is the latest example of how hard the USCP and Justice Department are fighting to keep more than 14,000 hours of surveillance video under wraps. Lawyers for the USCP insist the recordings can’t be released for fear doing so will give wannabe insurrectionists too much information about the inside of the complex; the Justice Department claims the footage is “highly sensitive” government material.

about:blankabout:blankDefense lawyers and media companies are fighting for fuller access to videos used as evidence by the Justice Department. Cherry-picked clips produced by the government are released to the media to support the narrative that January 6 was an armed, violent insurrection perpetrated by domestic terrorists who supported Donald Trump. The Biden Justice Department, in other words, has full control over a massive trove of recordings that shows exactly what happened on January 6.

The selective clips only tell one side of the story—and that’s the story the Biden Justice Department wants the public to see. But in some cases, defense attorneys and news outlets are petitioning the court to make public potentially exculpatory video evidence that would dispute the government’s allegations.

The Press Coalition, a group of 16 national news organizations including CNN, the Associated Press, and the Wall Street Journal among others has joined the attorney representing John Steven Anderson in seeking the public release of a 30-second clip captured by the USCP camera system.

Anderson, 61, suffered a medical emergency on January 6 after he was sprayed with a chemical irritant by an unidentified assailant inside the building. (He has several pre-existing conditions including asthma and hearing loss.) Although Anderson was arrested for trespassing that day and released, he was again arrested in February on a slew of new chargesincluding assaulting a police officer and stealing government property.

His attorney, Marina Medvin, is asking the court to remove the “highly sensitive” designation on the brief clip which shows Anderson being sprayed and then begging for help. “This exculpatory video is of paramount importance to the defense as it contradicts the government’s case and establishes Mr. Anderson’s defense to the serious felony accusations which the government has indicted,” Medvin wrote in a June filing.

Medvin also noted that the government picks and chooses which videos will be made public based on how it helps shape the narrative. “The government has made Capitol CCTV video public when it bolsters or conveniences their case. The government has already utilized CCTV video in their prosecution of Julian Khater and George Tanios, two January 6 Capitol incident defendants, and has made the CCTV footage available to the public.” Khater and Tanios are accused of conspiring to assault Officer Brian Sicknick with pepper spray.

Prosecutors objected to Medvin’s motion, again reiterating the alleged threat posed by publicly releasing footage of the “attempted insurrection” on January 6. “The USCP is concerned that release of the footage without protection, especially to defendants who have already shown a desire to interfere with the democratic process, will result in the release of information regarding the vulnerabilities and security weaknesses of the U.S. Capitol which could be used in a future attack,” the Justice Department replied.

Sure.

But even the Press Coalition pointed out the Justice Department’s hypocrisy. “The Government . . . in several other riot prosecutions . . . expressly agreed to the release of such ‘select video’ from inside the Capitol. Indeed, in opposing the release of this Video Clip, the Government directly contradicts its own prior positions.”

So, what is Joe Biden’s Justice Department and the USCP trying to hide? If indeed the four-hour disturbance is the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,” as Biden and Democratic Party talking heads often claim, or that it is akin to the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing, don’t the American people deserve to see every minute of video that documents how the “insurrection” went down?

Much like in the Anderson prosecution, is the government afraid the videos would act as a collective body of exculpatory evidence in the wholesale case that January 6 was a spontaneous uprising incited by Donald Trump rather than a partially, if not mostly, orchestrated disinformation campaign that omits key scenes such as police officers attacking peaceful protesters or USCP officials allowing protesters into the building?

And would it finally show exactly what happened to Ashli Babbitt, a tragic killing that the USCP, Democrats, and news media continue to cover up?

about:blankabout:blankNot since the collaborative effort to conceal the identity of Eric Ciaramella, the so-called “whistleblower” who helped launch Trump’s first impeachment trial has the political world worked so hard to keep secret a name everyone in D.C. already knows. Amid months of speculation, investigative reporter Paul Sperry recently named Lt. Michael Byrd as the officer who shot and killed the unarmed female veteran. Sperry cites February testimony by the House sergeant at arms, who mentioned Byrd as the shooter. (C-SPAN and CNN subsequently scrubbed Byrd’s name from transcripts, according to Sperry.)

Sperry’s calls and emails to Byrd went unanswered; a lawyer for the officer said he wouldn’t confirm Byrd’s identity and “warned that disclosing his name poses a safety risk to the officer.”

D.C. law, according to Sperry, requires the release of the name of any officer involved in a deadly shooting or “serious use of force” within five business days of the incident. Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed more than six months ago.

“The Babbitt shooting has thrust this double standard into the national spotlight,” Sperry wrote.

Of course, double standards abound in everything related to January 6. Capitol protesters are treated as hardened criminals and dangerous terrorists, arrested in pre-dawn raids with some hauled off to a special prison in the nation’s capital to await trials that will be delayed for at least a year while political activists tied to the Left have their cases dropped.

about:blankVideos that help perpetuate the “insurrection” narrative are released to the public; videos that undermine that narrative are deemed “highly sensitive” government information and kept secret.

The names of white cops who kill black people are immediately released; the name of a black federal officer who killed a white Trump supporter is concealed by the government and the news media.

Enough with the Capitol cover up: If Americans really deserve the truth, as Democrats routinely insist, it cannot be a selective, politically favorable version of the truth.

Release the tapes. Officially release the name of Ashli Babbitt’s shooter. And release Joe Biden’s political prisoners.

Unindicted Co-Conspirators in 1/6 Cases Raise Disturbing Questions of Federal Foreknowledge

Of all the questions asked, words spoken, and ink spilled on the so-called “Capitol Siege” of January 6, 2021, none hold the key to the entire event quite like what Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked of Christopher Wray.

The Democrat from Minnesota asked the Trump-appointed FBI Director: Did the federal government infiltrate any of the so-called “militia” organizations claimed to be responsible for planning and executing the Capitol Siege?

The full segment is available on YouTube.

Christopher Wray is able to uncomfortably weasel his way out of answering the question directly, partially because Klobuchar does him the courtesy of not asking him the question directly. Klobuchar instead asks the FBI director if he wishes he had infiltrated the militia organizations allegedly involved in 1/6 — assuming from the outset that there was in fact no infiltration, thereby providing the FBI director an easy way to avoid addressing the question one way or another.

Revolver News is willing to address the matter directly in the following three questions:

  • In the year leading up to 1/6 and during 1/6 itself, to what extent were the three primary militia groups (the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the Three Percenters) that the FBIDOJPentagon and network news have labeled most responsible for planning and executing a Capitol attack on 1/6 infiltrated by agencies of the federal government, or informants of said agencies?
  • Exactly how many federal undercover agents or confidential informants were present at the Capitol or in the Capitol during the infamous “siege” and what roles did they play (merely passive informants or active instigators)?
  • Finally, of all of the unindicted co-conspirators referenced in the charging documents of those indicted for crimes on 1/6, how many worked as a confidential informant or as an undercover operative for the federal government (FBI, Army Counterintelligence, etc.)?

From now on, all discussion of 1/6 must give way to a laser-like focus on the questions above, with an unwavering persistence at obtaining the answers.

If the narrative about 1/6 does not conform to the questions above, the American people will never learn the most important truth about what 1/6 is, and what kind of country they’re really living in.

If it turns out the federal government did in fact have undercover agents or confidential informants embedded within the so-called militia groups indicted for conspiring to obstruct the Senate certification on 1/6, the implications would be nothing short of seismic. Especially if such agents or informants enjoyed extremely senior-level positions within such groups.

One of the key consensus points among the FBI-DOJ and the regime media is the idea that, while 1/6 is primarily the fault of Trump-supporting QAnon-infused “domestic terrorists,” it is secondarily the fault of so-called “intelligence failures.”

Klobuchar’s own question at the March 2, 2021 FBI hearing (above) reinforces this “intelligence failure” narrative, but she is not alone. A five-month “bipartisan” Senate investigation recently arrived at the very same “intelligence failure” narrative to explain the breach of the Capitol and associated events on 1/6:

A bipartisan Senate investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection found security and intelligence failures at every level of government that led to the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as lawmakers in a joint session were certifying the 2020 election.

The 95-page report, a product of a roughly five-month, joint probe by the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees, found significant breakdowns ranging “from federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence to a lack of planning and preparation by (U.S. Capitol Police) and law enforcement leadership.” There was no overall operational or staffing plan for that fateful day, a total failure of leadership, according to the committees. 

If it turns out that the federal government (FBI, Army Counterintelligence, or a similar agency) had undercover agents or confidential informants embedded in any of the groups involved in 1/6, the “federal intelligence agencies failing to warn of a potential for violence” looks less like an innocent mistake and more like something sinister.

Indeed, if the federal government knew of a potential for violence in or around the Capitol on 1/6 and failed to call for heightened security, the agencies responsible may in fact be legally liable for the damages incurred during that day.

It is unsettling to entertain the possibility that the federal government knew of a potential for violence on 1/6 and did nothing to stop it. It presents the question: why would agencies, or certain elements within, sit back and let something like this happen on purpose?

A still more disturbing possibility arises from a careful study of the unindicted co-conspirators listed throughout the various charging documents of individuals facing the most serious charges related to 1/6.

We at Revolver News have noticed a pattern from our now months-long investigation into 1/6 — and in particular from our meticulous study of the charging documents related to those indicted. In many cases the unindicted co-conspirators appear to be much more aggressive and egregious participants in the very so-called “conspiracy” serving as the basis for charging those indicted.

The question immediately arises as to why this is the case, and forces us to consider whether certain individuals are being protected from indictment because they were involved in 1/6 as undercover operatives or confidential informants for a federal agency.

Here it is useful to draw a distinction between two discrete categories of participants in the so-called Capitol Siege.

The first category is the group of mostly harmless tourists who walked through already opened doors and already-removed barricades, and at most were guilty of minor trespassing charges and light property offenses. The second group consists of those who were violent with police officers, broke down barricades, smashed windows, belonged to a “militia” group engaged in military-style planning prior to the event, discussed transporting heavy weaponry, and so forth.

Up until now, the overwhelming (perhaps exclusive) share of counter-establishment reporting on 1/6 has focused on absolving the first group. And this is a valuable thing. The notion that these harmless “MAGA moms” wandering around the Capitol were domestic terrorists engaged in an insurrection is absurd. That many of these people are being held in prison, without bail, under harsh conditions, amounts to an unacceptable and outrageous abuse of basic human rights.

However, the possibility that the federal government had undercover operatives or informants involved in the events of 1/6, from its planning to its execution, compels us to turn our attention to the second category of participants.

We are especially interested in the unindicted co-conspirators who belonged to any of the big three “militia groups” — the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the Three Percenters. Indeed, it is these militia groups whose behavior, statements and planning leading up to and during 1/6 most closely align with the “violent insurrectionist” caricature we hear about in the media, and which the government claims to be going after in its aggressive prosecutions.

If it turns out that an extraordinary percentage of the members of these groups involved in planning and executing the Capitol Siege were federal informants or undercover operatives, the implications would be nothing short of staggering. This would be far worse than the already bad situation of the government knowing about the possibility of violence and doing nothing. Instead, this would imply that elements of the federal government were active instigators in the most egregious and spectacular aspects of 1/6, amounting to a monumental entrapment scheme used as a pretext to imprison otherwise harmless protestors at the Capitol — and in a much larger sense used to frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists.

This is what’s at stake in getting to the bottom of 1/6.

And so we proceed, unafraid, to investigate the question on which everything else pertaining to 1/6 hinges — did the government have informants or undercover agents in any or all of the “big three” militia groups leading up to or on 1/6? How many of the key unindicted co-conspirators in DOJ prosecutions are unindicted because they are undercover operatives or confidential informants?

In short, what did the federal government know in advance about 1/6, when did they know it — and how far did any undercover operations go?

Something’s Rotten in Michigan: The Forgotten Case of the Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

Of course, we could point to countless examples in America’s history of undercover agents and informants being actively involved in various “domestic terror plots.” But for the purposes of the argument we’re making here we need only go back a few months prior to 1/6 — to the so-called “Whitmer Kidnapping Plot.”

Indeed, what if we told you that scarcely three months before the 1/6 Capitol Siege, the FBI arrested 14 people for planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the State Government — and that the alleged conspiracy to overthrow the State government involved storming of the State Capitol?

And what if we told you that of the 14 individuals who allegedly plotted the “kidnapping” and overthrow of the state government, at least five were undercover agents and federal informants? And as if that’s not enough, many of the individuals allegedly involved in this plot appear to belong to the “Three Percenters,” one of the very same militia groups now blamed for storming January 6.

And, as the cherry on top, what if we told you that the director of the Detroit FBI Field Office, who oversaw the infiltration operation of the Michigan Plot, was subsequently granted a highly coincidental promotion to the D.C. office, where he is now the lead FBI agent for all 1/6 cases?

As crazy as it sounds, all of this is true. A full account of the Michigan Plot and its parallels to the Capitol Siege runs outside the scope and purposes of this article. Nonetheless, it will be useful to briefly flesh out some of the most salient details alluded to above.

The left-wing blog Jacobin, of all places, provides a good description of the allegation and charges:

Since last week, the headlines have been lit up by a shocking story out of Michigan: the FBI had foiled a plot hatched by anti-lockdown protesters and right-wing militia members to kidnap and try for “treason” Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, who one of the ringleaders called a “tyrant bitch.”

According to a federal affidavit and court testimony, the plot involved surveilling Whitmer’s vacation home in Western Michigan and the surrounding area, procuring explosives and tactical gear to fight off police, taking part in armed training exercises, and even possibly blowing up a nearby bridge. The alleged plotters discussed using a fake pizza delivery to kidnap Whitmer, leaving Whitmer on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan, and even kidnapping Virginia governor Ralph Northam, one of the “tyrants” who, they believed, were abusing their power to order statewide lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic. [Jacobin]

Drawing upon entrapment cases used in the War on Terror, the Jacobin piece expresses concerns that the whole Michigan Plot itself may have been the result of entrapment of vulnerable, cognitively deficient and mentally unstable individuals by FBI informants. The following passage discusses the pathetic state of Adam Fox, the man designated by the government as the “mastermind” of the kidnapping plot:

According to the FBI’s affidavit, the bureau made heavy use of informants and undercover agents in the case. At least four took part — specifically, two informants and two undercover agents, on whose evidence gathering the criminal complaint was based on — though it’s implied that some unspecific number of additional personnel were involved.

And, as with earlier, Muslim-targeting cases, the FBI appears to have been integral to the plotters’ ability to carry out the scheme. The affidavit notes that an undercover agent told the ringleader it would cost $4,000 to procure explosives. Four of the accused planned to meet with another undercover agent posing as an explosives expert to pay for them and, they were told, to get some excess tactical gear the agent had the day they were arrested. In court, Richard Trask, the agent who authored the affidavit, said he didn’t know how much money the defendants had on them when they were put in handcuffs, aside from the $275 held by Adam Fox, pegged by Trask as the ringleader.

Even the profile of Fox is not unlike those of earlier targets like Shareef and Hester. Fox was reportedly struggling with money and had been on the brink of homelessness after his girlfriend kicked him out of her house, before being taken in by his friend and employer, who let him stay temporarily in the basement of his vacuum store. It was there in that cramped storage space, cluttered with boxes and spare vacuum parts, where Fox was living with his two dogs and meager possessions, that he at one point held a meeting to allegedly plan out the kidnapping. [Jacobin]

The possibility of an FBI entrapment-type operation is especially disturbing in light of the striking parallels between the Michigan Plot and the so-called Capitol Siege of 1/6.

The Michigan Plot did not start out as a kidnapping. According to the DOJ’s own indictment, the plot started as a plan to “storm the Capitol building” in Lansing, Michigan. And the “conspirators” would do so by amping up “at least 200 men” from an upcoming unrelated rally planned at the Michigan Capitol building (a rally that was focused on the Second Amendment, not insurrection) by agitating enough rallygoers to run inside and occupy the building.

Paragraph 10 of the FBI affidavit describes the plot to “storm the state capitol”:

10. Fox, in coordination with CROFT, met with members of the militia group at various times in June 2020. During one such meeting on June 18, 2020, which was audio recorded by CHS-2, FOX, militia group leadership, including Michigan resident Ty GARBIN, and CHS-2 met at a Second Amendment rally at the State capitol in Lansing, Michigan. In an effort to recruit more members for the operation, FOX told GARBIN and CHS-2 he planned to attack the Capitol and asked them to combine forces.

“CHS-2” refers to a “Confidential Human Source,” which means government informant.  As mentioned above, the groups involved with this alleged plot were absolutely replete with undercover informants and operatives. Consider the following excerpt, from the same FBI affidavit:

4. In the course of its investigation, the FBI relied on information provided by Confidential Human Sources (CHS) and Undercover Employees (UCE) over several months. Not all CHSs and UCEs were present at all times, however, at least one CHS or UCE was usually present during the group meetings. Those CHSs and UCEs consensually recorded the meetings and conversations with the subjects. Some meetings or conversations were recorded by more than one CHS or UCE. Certain CHSs also had access to group or individual texts, online chats, and phone calls. Each CHS was vetted for reliability by the FBI agent handling the source. None of the CHSs were aware of the other CHSs involved with the groups in order to preserve the independence of their reporting. Although multiple CHSs were used over the course of the investigation, this complaint only relies on audio recordings and information provided by CHS-1, CHS-2, UCE-1 and UCE-2. [FBI Affidavit]

In the above excerpt, the FBI acknowledges the use of both confidential informants and undercover employees over the course of several months leading up to the so-called “thwarted plot.” Specifically, the complaint acknowledges two confidential informants and two undercover employees. Subsequent to the DOJ’s filing charges, however, another deep undercover informant unexpectedly outed himself (more on that later), bringing the tally of known government operatives up to five.

Here’s a clip of one of the informants talking about storming the Michigan State Capitol:

No wonder this Michigan plot didn’t take the federal authorities by surprise!

FBI infiltrators comprised, at the very least, 26 percent of the plotters. That is, at least five FBI operatives have been disclosed, against just 14 suspects indicted.

A look at the annotated indictment reveals that at every level of the plot, FBI operatives played the most important leadership roles:

-The plot’s “explosives expert,” who the plotters were accused of planning to buy bombs from, turned out to be an FBI agent.

-The head of transportation for the militia outfit turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

-The head of security for the militia outfit turned out to be an undercover FBI informant.

-At least two undercover FBI informants were active participants in the initial June 6, 2020 meeting in which the plot to storm Capitol buildings was allegedly hatched — meaning at least three FBI informants infiltrated before the conspiracy even started.

In one of the plot’s climactic scenes, in the main van driving up to look at Governor Whitmer’s vacation home, three out of the five people in the van — 60 percent of the plot’s senior leaders — were federal agents and informants:

31. FOX, CROFT, CHS-2, a UCE, and an individual from Wisconsin traveled in the first vehicle. While in the vehicle, CROFT and FOX discussed detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area of the vacation home. They stopped at the M-31 highway bridge on the way, where FOX and the UCE inspected the underside of the bridge for places to seat an explosive charge. FOX took a picture of the bridge’s support structure, which he later shared with CHS-2 in their encrypted chat. From there, they drove to a public boat launch across the lake from the vacation home to watch for the other cars in their group. [FBI]

You may be wondering how you get “three out of five” when the DOJ’s complaint only acknowledges two undercover FBI operatives: UCE (meaning “Undercover Employee,” or full-time agent) and CSH-2.

That is because the FBI went to great lengths to hide their affiliation with the fifth person in the van, describing him only as “an individual from Wisconsin” (again, more on this later).

Let’s take stock of what we have so far. We have a group of plotters that is heavily infiltrated by FBI informants and undercover agents, who were allegedly planning to kidnap the Michigan governor and storm the state capitol.

What we also know is that many of the main figures indicted in this plot seem to be associated with a militia group called the “Three Percenters” — one of the very same “big three” militia groups primarily charged with orchestrating 1/6.

Just to take a few examples:

The FBI alleged Adam Fox and Barry Croft were the supposed masterminds of the plot, with Adam Fox described as the Michigan state leader of the Three Percenters and Barry Croft as a national leader of the Three Percenters.

The FBI secured a search warrant to tap national Three Percenters leader Barry Croft’s Facebook account in April 2020, two months before the Michigan Plot was even allegedly hatched. For almost the entirety of 2020, every time Barry Croft’s Facebook account got banned, the FBI would tap each new alt account he created under a new warrant.

Michigan Plot indicted co-conspirators Brian Higgins and Michael Null were identified as Three Percenters as well.

As was Michael Jung, who was not indicted in relation to the kidnapping plot. Jung allegedly was a member of both the Oath Keepers and second in command of the Wisconsin Branch of the Three Percenters. Jung’s 2-acre homestead in Wisconsin is where the DOJ alleges the Michigan “plotters” held firearms training and field exercises under the watchful eye of undercover informants.

And so we see the strange parallels between the so-called Michigan Plot and the so-called 1/6 Capitol Siege. In Michigan you had an alleged plot involving the storming of a state capitol, allegedly involving members of one of the very same key militia groups associated with the 1/6 plot. And we’re supposed to believe that despite massive and now publicly confirmed FBI and government infiltration of the Michigan Plot, there was no similar infiltration for 1/6?

Such a position appears still less plausible when we consider a final, suspicious connection between the Michigan Plot and 1/6.

The head of the FBI field office in Detroit, Steven D’Antuono, who oversaw the infiltration (and incitement?) operation into the Michigan plot was quickly and quietly promoted to lead the coveted Washington, DC field office:

Steven M. D’Antuono, who was named chief of the Detroit FBI office a year ago, has been promoted to head the Washington Field Office, a coveted post in the bureau.

FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement Tuesday, just several days after D’Antuono’s agents and state police busted up a plot to abduct Gov. Gretechen Whitmer. His official new title is assistant director in charge. [Deadline Detroit]

If you’ve been following along so far, you can probably take a guess as to what Steven D’Antuono is up to in his new, coveted perch…

That’s right, he’s one of the key figures overseeing the investigation into the 1/6 Capitol Siege. What a coincidence!

Let’s recap what we’ve established. Just months prior to the U.S. Capitol Siege on 1/6, the FBI thwarted a similar plot involving a siege at the Michigan State Capitol, whose plotters belong to one of the three main militia groups associated with 1/6. The FBI was able to thwart this on the basis of an astonishing infiltration rate of said groups involving undercover operatives and informants who had been working in such capacity, just in one tiny Michigan network, for more than seven months. They were so well-infiltrated that they already had three informants embedded in this random Three Percenter network before any plot was even hatched. Furthermore, just days after the plot was foiled, FBI director Christopher Wray quietly promoted the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Michigan Plot operation to a coveted D.C. field post, where he now oversees the investigation into 1/6.

The Special Agent in Charge, by the way, is who establishes, extends, renews and supervises all FBI undercover operations.

The above parallels between the Michigan Plot and 1/6 do not necessarily mean that the the FBI had undercover informants and operatives who were involved in 1/6. But it sure as heck reinforces our intuition that it’s a distinct possibility. And it forces us to ask the question once again — if the government foiled the Michigan Plot, why didn’t they step in to stop the so-called siege on 1/6?

It is now imperative for anyone who cares about the truth to demand that Christopher Wray answer the question — to what extent did the FBI or any other government agency infiltrate the key militia groups associated with the U.S. Capitol Siege?

And more pressing still, a question to which we now turn our attention: how many of the unindicted co-conspirators in 1/6 prosecutions are unindicted on account of a prior arrangement with the federal government as an undercover operative or informant?

Shock and Awe: The DOJ’s Standard of Prosecution

Revolver News’s investigative team noticed from the very beginning a highly unusual and hard-to-explain feature of the conspiracy indictments filed against the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

Revolver took special notice of not only the unusual volume of unindicted co-conspirators, but a still more unusual feature that the statements and actions of the unindicted co-conspirators in many cases seemed far more egregious and aggressive than those of the persons actually indicted.

It is essential here to make an important note of clarification. The purpose of this analysis here is not to aid in the prosecution of any of these unindicted co-conspirators. Rather, our aim is to point out that, given the standards of indictment applied to those actually indicted, it is very strange and indeed suspicious that certain unindicted co-conspirators have managed to avoid indictment. This does not necessarily mean that we approve of the standard of indictment itself. Quite the contrary, the aggressive standard of indictment and prosecution, through an unimaginably broad application of “conspiracy” charges, is immoral, unjust, and absurd.

We hope that one consequence of this seismic exposé will be a serious and prompt reform of the justice system to prevent such aggressive and politically motivated prosecutions on the part of the government.

Broadly speaking, there are three primary reasons to see an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal complaint: grants of immunity, pragmatic considerations, and evidentiary concerns.

Grants of immunity are traditionally only issued as the result of a plea deal reached between a defendant and prosecutors. Specifically, in exchange for agreeing to testify against “Big Fish” in the conspiracy, a “Little Fish” may remain an unindicted co-conspirator and never be charged.

But there are two reasons this possibility is far less likely in the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys indictments.

First, the timing doesn’t add up. The first indictment in the Oath Keepers case, already containing multiple key unindicted co-conspirators, was filed on January 27.

The First Superseding Indictment was filed on February 19. The Second Superseding Indictment was filed on March 12. The Third Superseding Indictment was filed on March 31. But the first plea deal in the Oath Keepers case was not struck until April 16. This means that none of the unindicted co-conspirators in the first three months of filings could have gotten a grant of immunity.

And even then, only one guy so far has copped a plea. Informal plea negotiations among the broader group didn’t even start until last week.

There are what appears to be upwards of 20 unindicted co-conspirators in the Oath Keepers indictments, all playing various roles in the conspiracy, who have not been charged for virtually the exact same activities — and in some cases much, much more severe activities — as those named alongside them in indictments.

The timeline and fact pattern suggests therefore that the only unindicted co-conspirator who could be unindicted as the result of a grant of immunity would have to be the single person from the Fourth Superseding Indictment onward, which was filed on May 26.

The other reasons to typically see unindicted co-conspirators — pragmatic concerns and evidentiary concerns — seem far less likely in this case as well.

The DOJ kicked off what has become one the largest and most aggressive prosecutorial dragnets in American history by announcing a campaign of “Shock and Awe.” No one gets off the hook. No one gets leniency. And everyone playing a bit part gets maximum time because this is about sending a message.

Listen to then-Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin describing this remarkably merciless “Shock and Awe” prosecutorial campaign:

Here’s a partial transcript:

I wanted to ensure, and our office wanted to ensure, that there was shock and awe. That we could charge as many people as possible before [January] 20th. And it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C., because they were like, ‘If we go there, we’re going to get charged.’

We saw “Shock and Awe” in action in the DOJ’s terrifyingly twisted “conspiracy” case against George Tanios, discussed at length in a previous Revolver report.

George Tanios and his companion Julian Khater have been charged with nine criminal counts for actions taken on 1/6 just outside the steps of the U.S. Capitol building. The most serious charge was assault on an officer with a dangerous weapon, arising from Khater’s alleged use of Tanios’s chemical spray to tag Officer Sicknick and two other officers in the face.

There, Tanios: (1) did not go in the Capitol; (2) did not use any bear spray himself; (3) had bear spray in his backpack and when his buddy Khater reached in to take it out, Tanios actively tried to stop him; and (4) in the end, it turns out, as prosecutors now acknowledge, his buddy never even used the bear spray.

And still, the DOJ has slapped this 39-year-old sandwich shop owner, George Tanios, with 60 years worth of stacking “conspiracy” charges because he said, “Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet.”

As we proceed to consider the following unindicted co-conspirators, keep in mind this George Tanios “Shock and Awe” standard of prosecution.

The Unindicted Co-Conspirators

The first suspiciously unindicted co-conspirators we will consider are the “Person Two” and “Person Three” who are unindicted co-conspirators in the indictment against Oath Keeper Thomas Caldwell (and the 15 named co-defendants).

For those unfamiliar, Thomas Caldwell is a 65-year-old from Virginia and an alleged member of the Oath Keepers, which the DOJ refers to as a “paramilitary” or “militia” group. The Caldwell case served as one of the first major indictments following the January 6 incident.

The DOJ press release provides more detail:

Jessica Marie Watkins, 38, and Donovan Ray Crowl, 50, both of Champaign County, Ohio; and Thomas Caldwell, 65, of Clarke County, Virginia, were indicted today in federal court in the District of Columbia on charges of conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1512, 1361, and 1752. Watkins and Crowl were arrested on Jan. 18; Caldwell was arrested on Jan. 19. All three individuals originally were charged by criminal complaint. The maximum penalty for Obstructing an Official Proceeding is a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

According to the charging documents, Watkins, Crowl, and Caldwell communicated with each another in advance of the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion on the U.S. Capitol and coordinated their attack. Watkins, Crowl, and Caldwell are all affiliated with the Oath Keepers, while Watkins and Crowl are also members of the Ohio State Regular Militia. Watkins claimed to be a commanding officer within the Ohio State Regular Militia in a social media post. [Department of Justice]

A careful read of the indictment against Caldwell reveals that a certain “Person Two” was a key co-conspirator alongside Caldwell in nearly every dimension relevant to the charges in question.

Person Two planned logistics with Caldwell days in advance of 1/6, stayed in the same hotel room for days together, and when Caldwell allegedly “stormed the barricades” into restricted areas outside the U.S. Capitol, Person Two is alleged to have “stormed the barricades” right beside him.

But five months since the acts both co-conspirators allegedly committed, only Caldwell has been charged. Person Two, for some mysterious reason, remains an unindicted co-conspirator.

For example, the DOJ alleges:

48. Meanwhile, CALDWELL, who was positioned on the west side of the Capitol, joined with PERSON TWO and others known and unknown in storming past barricades and climbing stairs up to a balcony on the West side of the Capitol building. [DOJ – Fourth Superseding Indictment]

Person Two is with Caldwell side by side, doing the same actions, going into the same restricted areas of the Capitol, coming out, every step of the way from the beginning of the day until they return to a hotel they share together. But for some strange reason, Person Two, who could not have gotten a plea deal, is not indicted, named, or pursued at all. From the government’s brief against reconsideration of detention:

Did you see us storm the Capitol today? [Person Two] is exhausted and will give you the long version later… I will send you now a sequence of pics as we get bearer, climb through the construction and scaffolding meant to stop us, up the stairway where they were shooting teargas and the grins after we were in as well as the view looking out from the balcony.

Hell yeah! [Person Two] and I rolled with the Oathkeepers and some other militia.

On my side another round of indiscriminate tear gas shots. I gotta say, I was carrying my American flag and I got up on that fountain and I said let’s go. Patriots forward! And people were screaming it and we surged forward. I will neve forget the feeling. And [Person Two] I said . . . do you want to go and [Person Two] said something like let’s go!

We got to the level where they do the inauguration and I gotta say it was exhilarating to stand there with thousands, some even hanging from the scaffolding, waving my American flag and [PERSON TWO] waving the flag singing America the beautiful and the Star spangled banner with hundred of thousands of people I didn’t know.

On my side the cops showed up on a level above us with riot guns and about this time I had left [PERSON TWO] and [name omitted] one of our other pals by the railing about 20 yards back.

And more, from the fourth superseding indictment:

52. On December  30,  2020, WATKINS  and CALDWELL exchanged the  following text messages:

WATKINS: Looks like we are greenlight to come to DC on the 6th.  The Rally Point still at your place?

CALDWELL: Not that I am aware…  Here’s the rub: [PERSON TWO] and I will be in a hotel within striking distance of the city starting on the 4th so we won’t even BE here.

Even more suspicious than Person 2 described above is Person 3, who is yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the Caldwell indictment.

Note that in the Michigan Plot described in the previous section, both the main van driver and explosives supplier were undercover FBI operatives.

Here, the Oath Keepers’ main bus driver and supposed explosives supplier remains an unindicted co-conspirator. That person is simply listed as “Person 3” in the complaints.

Consider the following from paragraph 64 of the Caldwell indictment:

On  January  1,  2021,  CALDWELL  wrote  to  CROWL,  “Check  with  Cap.    I  recommended the following hotel to her which STILL has rooms (unbelieveble).”  CALDWELL then  sent  a  link  to  the  Comfort  Inn  Ballston,  the  same  hotel  that  he  recommended  to  others  on  January 1.  CALDWELL continued, “[PERSON TWO] and I are setting up shop there.  [PERSON THREE] has a room and is bringing someone.  He will be the quick reaction force.  Its going to be cold.  We need a place to spend the night before minimum.  [PERSON ONE] never contacted me so [PERSON TWO] and I are going our way.  I will probably do pre-strike on the 5th though there are things going on that day.  Maybe can do some night hunting.  Oathkeeper friends from North Carolina  are  taking  commercial  buses  up  early  in  the  morning  on  the  6th  and  back  same  night.  [PERSON THREE] will have the goodies in case things go bad and we need to get heavy.” [DOJ – Fourth Superseding Indictment]

In arguing defendant Caldwell should be denied bail, the DOJ cites Caldwell’s “leadership role in planning the events of January 6” as including “finding lodging” for Person Three. They even explicitly refer to Person Three as “a third co-conspirator.” Why is this “third co-conspirator” still unindicted?

Perhaps most significantly, the government has proffered, and the indictment alleges, that Defendant Caldwell played a leadership role in planning the events of January 6, 2021: by (1) finding lodging just outside Washington, D.C. for himself, co-defendant Watkins, co-defendant Crowd, and a third co-conspirator, Person Three, whom Caldwell said would be serving as part of the “quick reaction force” to support the operations on January 6 (ECF No. 18 at 7-9); (2) distributing maps to the quick reaction force to help it find the quickest route to the Capitol, should its services be required (id. At 9); and (3) by discussing whether it would be possible to recruit people with boats to join the plan, so that they could participate in the quick reaction force and ferry “the heavy weapons” across the Potomac River, should that become necessary during the events of January 6 (id. At 9). [DOJ – Caldwell Bond Motion]

In the Michigan Plot, an undercover FBI operative was the recipient of hand-drawn maps from the “plotters” doing reconnaissance missions. Here in 1/6, it is once again the mysteriously unindicted co-conspirator “Person 3” who receives hand-drawn maps:

75. On January 4, 2021, CALDWELL emailed PERSON THREE several maps along with the message, “These maps walk you from the hotel into D.C. and east toward the target area on multiple roads running west to east including M street and P street, two of my favorites…” [DOJ – Fourth Superseding Indictment]

Further, in the Michigan Plot, defense counsel alleges it was an undercover FBI operative who actually organized and paid for the hotel rooms during the key planning meeting on June 6, 2020.

Here, our mysteriously unindicted “Person Three” reserved and paid for various Oath Keeper hotel rooms:

68. KELLY MEGGS paid for two rooms, each for two people, at the Comfort Inn Ballston from January 5-6, 2021. The rooms were reserved under the name of Person Three.

69. Person Three paid for one room at the Comfort Inn Ballston from January 5-6, 2021. [DOJ – Fourth Superseding Indictment]

From the indictment, Person 3 was tasked with stashing the heavy weapons at the “QRF hotel”, and standing by as QRF operator in case he was summoned to take the weapons directly to protesters at the scene. [Indictment, paragraphs 83, 84 and 90 and Bond Hearing, pp. 13-14]

This same pattern applies to the booking of most Oath Keeper hotel rooms:

82. On January 4, 2021, PERSON TEN checked into the Hilton Garden Inn in Vienna, Virginia.  The room was reserved and paid for using a credit card in PERSON ONE’s name.

95. MINUTA,  using  his  personal  email  address  and  his  personal  home  address,  reserved three rooms at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., under the names of MINUTA, JAMES, and PERSON TWENTY.  A debit card associated with PERSON FIFTEEN was used to pay for  the  room  reserved  under  MINUTA’s  name. [DOJ Indictment]

Indeed, the curious lack of indictments filed against the entire gamut of Persons referenced as playing leadership roles within the Oath Keepers on 1/6 raises red flags. This includes: Person 2, Person 3, Person 10, Person 14, Person 15, Person 16, Person 19 and Person 20, along with many co-conspirators listed only as “an individual.”

For example, while transgender bar owner and Ohio Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins is inside the mezzanine of the U.S. Capitol, she is being directed, encouraged and egged on by “an individual” whose identity the DOJ clearly knows, since the DOJ stipulates the “individual” had “participated in at least one prior Oath Keeper operation:”

141. An individual who had participated in at least one prior Oath Keeper operations with WATKINS responded, “Get it Jess. Do your fucking thing. This is what we fucking [unintelligible] up for. Everything we fucking trained for.” [DOJ Indictment]

Among such individuals, consider the alleged administrator of the “Stop the Steal J6” Zello channel.

The Zello channel in question was populated by patriot/militia personalities who were variously monitoring and participating in 1/6 activities in real-time. For those unfamiliar, Zello is an app that allows for walkie-talkie functionality on a cell phone. Because phones signals were “jammed” by law enforcement in the Capitol area, Zello’s walkie-talkie function was useful (and pre-planned) to stay in communication.

The DOJ alleges:

114. At 2:03pm, the administrator of the “Stop the Steal J6” Zello channel directed the group, “You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud.” [DOJ Indictment]

The DOJ point-blank says this Zello channel administrator “directed the group” as it was carrying out the alleged Capitol attack. If the group is carrying out a conspiracy (and that’s what the defendants are charged with), this Zello channel administrator is directing the conspiracy in real-time. Further, applying the George Tanios “shock and awe” standard, it would certainly appear that direct instructions and active encouragement to co-conspirators in real-time to perform “citizens arrests” on the assembly (presumably Congress) is far worse than George Tanios merely saying “Hold on, hold on, not yet,” which was the sole hook needed for the DOJ to jail him without bail facing 60 years of charges.

An important reminder for the reader: the point of this exercise is not to encourage the prosecution of this or any other unindicted co-conspirator. The purpose is to suggest the oddity that such co-conspirators have not been indicted, given the absurdly severe “Shock and Awe” standard applied to those who have been. To the extent that this double-standard suggests that the unindicted co-conspirator remains such because he or she has a relationship with the federal government, this is of profound public interest.

We do not mean however to legitimize or condone the “Shock and Awe” standard applied to those indicted, or the wide scope and abusive application of “conspiracy” statutes to target political dissidents.

Under the same (absurd and unjust) standard of prosecution applied to this and every other 1/6 case, this statement, made in real-time over private walkie-talkie to the Oath Keepers inside the Capitol is immediately sufficient to charge this “individual” with conspiracy as well. Is this person being protected? If so, why?

Turning to the Proud Boys side, it appears that the individual who set up the Proud Boys’ communications infrastructure is still being protected by the DOJ. The DOJ refers to this person only as “UCC-1” (UCC meaning an explicitly spelled out “unindicted co-conspirator”):

47. At 9:09 p.m. UCC-1 broadcast a message to the New MOSD and Boots on the Ground channels that read: Stand by for the shared baofeng channel and shared zello channel, no Color, be decentralized and use good judgment until further orders” UCC-1 also wrote, “Rufio is is in charge, cops are the primary threat, don’t get caught by them or BLM, don’t get drunk until off the street.” UCC-1 then provided a specific radio frequency of 477.985[DOJ – First Superseding Indictment]

Note that the “baofeng channel” here refers to encrypted two-way Chinese Baefeng radios.

Recall in the very beginning of this report, the Senate hearing exchange (in which Sen. Amy Klobachar asks FBI Director Wray if he wishes the FBI infiltrated the Proud Boys) begins with her exasperation over the Proud Boys having “Chinese radio”:

“And they show up, we now know in this complaint, with encrypted two-way Chinese radios…”

What a dark irony if it turns out that the very radios in question here were supplied to the Proud Boys group by an informant or undercover agent!

UCC-1, as well as two additional unindicted co-conspirators referred to only as “Person-One” and “Person-Two” in the Proud Boys indictment, were all in Proud Boys “upper tier leadership,” and appear to have been the most prolific planners and incendiary advocates of “insurrection” in the run-up to and on the day of 1/6.

For example, the DOJ cites statements made almost exclusively by unindicted co-conspirators as statements that “revealed a plan to storm the Capitol and to let the crowd loose.” Below is a direct quote from that DOJ motion. Note that only a single statement in this entire exchange, cited as the DOJ’s proof of an ongoing conspiracy, is made by a conspirator the DOJ actually indicted (Charles Donahoe). Even then, the indicted conspirator’s statements are orders of magnitude less specific, conspiratorial and incendiary than those made by unindicted co-conspirators UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2:

Statements  made  contemporaneous  to  the  event,  however,  revealed  a  plan  to  storm  the  Capitol and to let the crowd loose, e.g.:

UCC-1: I want to see thousands of normies burn that city to ash today
Person-2: Would be epic
UCC-1: The state is the enemy of the people
Person-2: We are the people
UCC-1: Fuck yea
Person-1: God let it happen . . . I will settle with seeing them smash some pigs to dust
Person-2: Fuck these commie traitors
Person-1: It’s going to happen. These normiecons have no adrenaline control . . . They are like a pack of wild dogs
DONOHOE:   I’m leaving with a crew of about 15 at 0830 to hoof it to the monument no colors
Person-2: Fuck it let them loose
Person-1: I agree . . .

[May 13 DOJ filing, p. 7]

For this exchange, made on 1/6, in the exclusive, encrypted senior leaders-only chat of the Proud Boys, the DOJ has sufficient grounds to indict UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 as co-conspirators.

But the roles of UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 look even worse when you understand the structure and hierarchy of the Proud Boys chain of command on 1/6.

First, there were only a very small handful of people in the “upper tier leadership” private Telegram chat of the Proud Boys. When the channel was set up on December, 29, 2020, it was just six people, including Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio, longtime Proud Boys “thought leader” Joseph Biggs, Proud Boys Auburn chapter head Ethan Nordean, and Proud Boys Philadelphia chapter head Zachary Rehl. That’s four named individuals and two-unnamed.

On December 29, 2020, the Proud Boys Chairman announced the leadership and structure of the Ministry of Self-Defense. The leadership and structure included an “upper tier leadership” of six people, which included Proud Boys Chairman, Nordean, Biggs, and Rehl. Later that evening, Donohoe explained the structure with reference to the upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. Among other things, Donohoe explained that the MOSD was a “special chapter” within the organization. The “special chapter” was not to have any interaction with other Proud Boys attending the event. Other Proud Boys attending the event were to coordinate with their own chapters and “do whatever you guys want.” [May 13 DOJ filing, pp. 3-4]

After 1/6, it came to light that Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio had been a “prolific” FBI informant for years, and Proud Boys “thought leader” Joseph Biggs had been an FBI informant for several months.

The day before 1/6, the Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio, a known FBI informant, was arrested on weapons charges and ordered by a Judge to stay away from D.C.

Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the right-wing group the Proud Boys, has been ordered to stay away from Washington, D.C., after he was arrested on vandalism and weapons charges. The ruling comes one day before pro-Trump demonstrations are planned in Washington as Congress convenes to count the Electoral College votes ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Tarrio was released from custody on Tuesday, but Judge Renee Raymond ordered him to stay away from Washington. Raymond said the government’s request for Tarrio to stay away was reasonable given his prior statements about burning anything associated with Black Lives Matter, Raymond also ordered that Tarrio not possess a firearm or ammunition while in Washington.

Tarrio was arrested Monday after he arrived in Washington on a charge stemming from the destruction of a Black Lives Matter banner at a historically Black church. He was found to be in possession of several high-capacity firearms, stemming in felony charges. [CBS]

A full discussion of Tarrio is outside the scope of this piece. For now, we will simply note how remarkably convenient it is that the head of the Proud Boys, a known FBI informant, just happened to get arrested and banned from D.C. the day before the January 6 protest, in which Proud Boys were involved.

What better excuse for the leader not to be present on that fateful day?

Upon Tarrio’s arrest on January 4, the “upper tier leadership” of the MOSD Telegram channel was “nuked” and a channel, “New MOSD” took its place. We now know this top leadership Telegram group included unindicted co-conspirators UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 (as well as Proud Boys North Carolina chapter leader Charles Donahoe).

On January 4, 2021, shortly after Proud Boys Chairman’s arrest pursuant to a warrant issued by D.C. Superior Court, DONOHOE expressed concern that encrypted communications that involved Proud Boys Chairman would be compromised when law enforcement examined Proud Boys Chairman’s phone. DONOHOE then created a new channel on the encrypted messaging application, entitled “New MOSD,” and took steps to destroy or “nuke” the earlier channel. After its creation, the “New MOSD” channel included NORDEAN, BIGGS, REHL, DONOHOE, and a handful of additional members. [DOJ – First Superseding Indictment]

The DOJ cites Person-1 as saying the following:

Person-1: God let it happen . . . I will settle with seeing them smash some pigs to dust
Person-1: It’s going to happen. These normiecons have no adrenaline control . . . They are like a pack of wild dogs
Person-2: Fuck it let them loose
Person-1: I agree . . .

[Bond Motion]

Furthermore, DOJ cites Person-1 as belonging to Proud Boys’ “upper tier leadership”:

A video call was held with prospective members of the MOSD on December 30, 2020. The self-proclaimed leadership of the MOSD introduced the chapter and explained the expectations, including the strict chain of command. As one member (“Person-1”) of the upper tier leadership explained…

[Bond Motion]

This unindicted co-conspirator, Person-1, then explained that all Proud Boys leaders must obey the orders of any person in the senior leadership chat. That means UCC-1, Person-1 and Person-2 had directorial authority over indicted defendants in the group:

“[Directions] could come from any single person that you see on your screen right now… but   the   one   thing   that   everyone   has   to   understand, is, yes, you might be getting told things from different people,  but  it’s  all  information  from  the  same  plan.  [Joe] Biggs]  is  not  going  to  tell  you  something  different  than  I’m  gonna  tell  you.  [Proud Boys Chairman] is not going to tell you something different than Zach [Rehl] is going to tell you. It’s all one operational plan, so don’t get hung up on the delivery. The information is all the same. [Bond Motion]

So if UCC-1, Person-1 and/or Person-2 were undercover informants or agents, note that instruction given by them to other Proud Boys in the chat was to be taken as a direction coming straight “from the top.”

40. On January 4, 2021, at 7:15 p.m., DONOHOE posted a message on various encrypted messaging channels, including New MOSD, which read, “Hey have been instructed and listen to me real good! There is no planning of any sorts. I need to be put into whatever new thing is created… DONOHOE then wrote, “Stop everything immediately” and then “This comes from the top.”

And in fact, these unindicted co-conspirators did appear to override indicted defendants:

41. On January 4, 2021, at 8:20 p.m., an unindicted co-conspirator (“UCC-1”) posted to New MOSD channel: “We had originally planned on divying them up and getting baofeng channels picked out.” [DOJ – First Superseding Indictment]

The next day, UCC-1 did in fact set up and distribute the Baofeng Chinese radio frequency [paragraph 47].

While UCC-1 set up the Chinese radios and walkie-talkie teams, and Person-1 gave operational instructions, Person-2 was repeatedly posting into the senior leadership chat the most inflammatory and inciting comments of anyone in the organization:

On January 4, prior to his arrival in Washington, D.C., Proud Boys Chairman communicated his expectation that he would be arrested upon entering Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, UCC-1 wrote, “We should tell our guys and double down.” Another member of MOSD leadership (“Person-2”) subsequently wrote, “I say fuck it. Let’s set it off[.]” Person-2 then posted “J20” and then “Drag them out by the fucking hair” and then “If they steal it[.]”

Notably, Person-1 and Person-2 were the same participants in the Telegram message chats on January 6 who expressed their hope that the “normies” would “burn that city to ash” and suggested that those on the ground should “turn them loose.” In addition, Person-2 was the individual who posted an alert in the Telegram messages: “Storming the Capitol now” and directed participants to “Get there.” [DOJ Motion]

By the severe “Shock and Awe” prosecutorial standard applied to George Tanios, it is difficult to understand how the unindicted co-conspirators described above have not yet been indicted.

As yet another reminder, we are not advocating for the prosecution or indictment of anyone. Rather, we are pointing out the seeming double standard applied to certain indicted persons (George Tanios, for example) and a number of highly suspicious unindicted co-conspirators, with a view toward the strong possibility that the latter categories contain federal informants and undercover operatives.

Conclusion

By way of conclusion, let us return to a curious feature of the Michigan Plot described earlier in this report.

During one of the plot’s climactic scenes, in the main van driving up to look at Whitmer’s vacation house, three out of the five people in the van — 60 percent of the plot’s senior leaders — were undercover agents and operatives:

31. FOX, CROFT, a CHS-2, a UCE, and an individual from Wisconsin traveled in the first vehicle. While in the vehicle, CROFT and FOX discussed detonating explosive devices [DOJ Indictment]

The FBI and DOJ went to great lengths to conceal the fact that the fifth man in the van, “an individual from Wisconsin,” was actually a deep undercover federal informant.

This “individual” allegedly organized the initial June 6, 2020 meeting in Dublin, Ohio where the entire Michigan Plot was allegedly hatched. He even allegedly paid for the attendees’ hotel rooms to travel there.

No wonder that the FBI-DOJ tried to conceal the central role of their mole in setting in motion a conspiracy blamed entirely on patriot/militia groups!

The “individual from Wisconsin,” also referenced variously throughout the Michigan Plot courts documents as “an individual”, is the longtime government mole Steve Robeson. We know this, because in November 2020, one month afterthe October 2020 indictment was filed, Steve Robeson blew his cover by spilling on a livestream: “I am the individual from Wisconsin.

The criminal complaint describes a late-night surveillance run in mid-September from the group’s remote training site in Luther to Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan. Three vehicles made the trip, including a truck containing five people: accused ringleader Adam Fox, Croft, an informant, an undercover FBI agent and “an individual from Wisconsin.”

“That’s me,” Robeson tells members during the online meeting. “I’m the individual from Wisconsin.” [Detroit News]

Steve Robeson, 58, had been penetrating right-wing patriot/militia groups as a secret informant for the Federal government for over 35 years.

Robeson has a history of testifying for the government. In 1985, he testified against a suspect in a murder and arson case involving members of the Ghost Riders motorcycle gang, according to a Wisconsin State Journal article. The article portrays Robeson as a jailhouse snitch who shared a county jail cell with one defendant in the case. [Detroit News]

In a possible preview of what might come for some of the unindicted co-conspirators in 1/6, the FBI-DOJ burned Robeson, their own secret informant, by hitting the man they paid to infiltrate patriot groups with a 10-year charge for owning a gun (as a convicted child molester, he was not allowed to own a gun, which the FBI obviously knew in advance). Perhaps this is the price that Robeson paid for blowing his cover?

There is a fascinating moment in the October 14 preliminary hearing where Detroit FBI Field Office Special Agent Richard Trask brings personal notes to the stand, which he only consults when talking about key events concerning the “individual from Wisconsin”. When questioned on cross-examination about the contents of the notes and why they weren’t disclosed to defense counsel, Special Agent Trask says his admits his notes were prepped in a joint meeting the night before between the FBI and DOJ. When defense counsel Mr. Graham motions the judge for a copy of the notes, DOJ prosecutor Mr. Kessler rushes in to specify that defense counsel will only get a redacted version of the notes because they relate to unindicted co-conspirators and concealed-identity informants. [Preliminary Hearing Transcript – also see image sequence 1234]

Steve Robeson (“an individual”) being outed as a deep undercover FBI mole just months ago in the Michigan Plot, among other incidents, calls into question every major unindicted co-conspirator in the 1/6 case docket referred to only as “an individual.” Indeed, in the case of Robeson, the FBI and DOJ conspired to use this exact language trick to hide the existence of secret FBI informants from the judge, defense counsel and the public.

In the end, we are left with burning questions that ought to entirely reshape the way the nation thinks and talks about the events of 1/6.

From now on, every politician, commentator, and concerned citizen who cares about 1/6 has a duty to put the pressure on FBI director Christopher Wray to come clean.

In the very beginning of this piece we drew attention to Senator Klobuchar asking Christopher Wray about infiltration, but formulating the question in a way that assumed there was none. Don’t you ever kick yourself, she asked the FBI director, for not having infiltrated these groups that planned to do violence on 1/6?

Now, armed with the formidable research in this article, any politician in Senator Klobuchar’s shoes ought to kick themselves if they don’t ask the following:

Director Wray: How many of the unindicted co-conspirators in January 6 cases are now, or have been, undercover agents or confidential informants?

Indeed, pulling on the thread developed in this ground-breaking report could unravel the full story of what the FBI really knew about 1/6 — a potentially extraordinary scandal.

Bishop Garrison: Biden’s Racist Tool for a Military Purge

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Republican party?”

Wed Jun 9, 2021 Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

“One extremist is one too many,” Bishop Garrison told a Center for American Progress seminar.

Garrison, the man tasked by the Biden administration with fighting “extremism” in the military, had reversed Blackstone’s ratio, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” It was better to wreck the careers of a million soldiers to find one extremist.

The Elizabeth Warren supporter was talking about his plans to fight extremism to a leftist group run by one of Biden’s few nominees so extreme she couldn’t manage to get past the Senate.

Speaking alongside Garrison was Jessica Gonzalez of Change the Terms, an organization advocating for more internet censorship, formerly of the National Hispanic Media Coalition which coordinated with La Raza whose name means The Race and was derived from the works of Nazi collabotator Jose Vasconcelos. Antonia Hernandez, another participant, had taken part in a La Raza convention. But these weren’t the extremists that Garrison was looking for.

Bishop Garrison is the sort of man who writes that, “when I walk into a room — a conference room, a board room, an auditorium, a lecture hall — I count the black and brown faces.”

The man in charge of hunting for extremism is a firm believer in systemic racism.

He speaks in the dogmatic cant of critical race theory, tweeting about “intersectionality” in national security, promoted Ta-Nehisi Coates’ call for racial reparations, and hails the racist revisionist history of the 1619 Project.

To Garrison, America is suffering from the “original sin of slavery” and “the threat of systemic racism is one of our greatest national security challenges.” Racism, he claims, is an “existential threat” and he sees it everywhere around him except when he looks in the bathroom mirror.

When Governor Ron DeSantis told Florida voters not to “monkey this up”, Garrison replied, “it was absolutely racist. To defend the statement is to defend racism.” But Garrison also defended the Portland Antifa rioters, insisting that the riots were a “peace demonstration against racism”.

Garrison had previously accused President Trump of “normalizing” extremists. “Support for him, a racist, is support for ALL his beliefs,” he had ranted. But he defended Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib as women of color “facing racism led by the President of the United States.”

This is the hateful radical race-driven psyche of the man appointed to head the Countering Extremism Working Group whose first task is to create a definition of extremism for the military.

That definition would be used to prohibit “extremist activities among uniformed military personnel”, ask recruits about “previous extremist behavior” and urge “veterans” to report “any potential contact with an extremist group”. The Uniformed Military Code of Justice would be used to punish recruits and existing personnel found guilty of not informing on themselves.

The surveillance program included a proposal to vet candidates for national security positions by spying on their social media using algorithms that would scan for specific keywords.

After spending generations holding up the Army-McCarthy hearings as the epitome of fascism, leftists were embedding political tests, warning service members to inform on their own political views and those of their fellow service members, and threatening to punish those who would not inform in a purge of the military rank and file that McCarthy would never have dreamed of.

A leftist movement that was once outraged over, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?”is asking, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Republican party?”

All to find that one “extremist”.

To Garrison, extremism means President Trump and Republicans.

When President Trump criticized how Democrats had wrecked Baltimore, Garrison attackedhim and tweeted, “the battle against racism & extremism is an issue of national security.”

Garrison reflexively blamed all racism, no matter how implausibly, on Trump and Republicans.

Even when a Texas school official posted, “You can’t count on a black quarterback”, Garrison blamed Trump.

Racism, in Garrison’s mind, is reducible to President Trump and his supporters. Anyone in the military who supports him is probably a dangerous racist and extremist.

The Countering Extremism Working Group had been tasked by Biden and Secretary of Defense Austin  to purge the military of Trump supporters in order to fight extremism. Garrison was on the job, appearing at leftist seminars and events vowing to defeat the threat of: extremism”.

But what had occasioned the crisis of extremism? The last two personnel to carry out terrorist attacks while serving in the military were Major Nidal Hassan and Sergeant Hasan Akbar.

Neither of the Muslim terrorists wore MAGA hats while they set out to murder Americans.

But Garrison had not been put in charge of fighting against Islamic terrorist plots. What had he been put in charge of fighting? At the  Center for American Progress seminar, Garrison slipped and said, “this type of ideology—excuse me, this type of behavior—is not acceptable”.

Garrison quickly corrected “ideology” to “behavior”, but it was too late.

Biden’s hit man for the military had made it clear that he was out to purge ideology, not to change behavior. The military was going to eliminate political wrong-think.

That’s a direct attack on the Constitution.

Garrison went on to define extremism as “unlawful or unregulated militias” and “anti-government extremism”. Not to mention “extremism based in immutable traits. Whether you’re talking about race or gender or ethnicity, none of it is acceptable and we wholeheartedly reject all of it”.

Believing that women and men were immutably different was now a form of extremism that Garrison and Biden were going to fight. One “extremist” who believes men and women are different was too many for Biden’s new woke army. And, indeed, Garrison had urged CVE or Countering Violent Extremism, originally used against Al Qaeda, for “misogynists”.

Because the agenda is much bigger than just pursuing the phantom menace of extremism.  

Garrison’s big gimmick had been tying national security to leftist policies and personnel.

Bishop Garrison has spent a decade arguing that military readiness is inseparable from diversity and that diversity depends on implementing identity politics and every leftist program.

Therefore, according to him, our national security depends on everything from illegal alien amnesty to global warming to renaming Fort Benning, and President Trump’s refusal to remove the names of Confederate figures from military bases “jeopardizes U.S. national security”.

The Biden administration is plotting to transform the military by making national security inseparable from the leftist agenda. Garrison’s CEWG purge of the military is just setting the terms for a new definition of military leadership whose allegiance is purely to the leftist program.

Any officer who doesn’t support the leftist program becomes a threat to national security.

Like Stalin’s purge of the generals, Biden is undermining national security for political security, plotting to eliminate political opponents and transform the military into a leftist institution..

In the last 5 years, Democrats have hijacked national security to criminalize political disagreement as “disinformation” while spying on political opponents for “counterintelligence”.

This is just the beginning.

The purge will begin with imposing critical race theory on the military at every level. It will end with redefining the allegiance of the military away from the Constitution, and radicalize it into another ‘woke’ organization driven by the revolutionary imperatives of destroying America.

Like the Ivy League and Coca Cola, the military will become another former American institution whose leaders speak in critical race theory buzzwords, focused on purging political enemies, funding leftist causes, and tightening the death grip of the Left on the United States.

The Democrats may not succeed in their plot, but they will do their damndest to try. And Republicans will, as happens all too often, do nothing to stop the plot against our military.

A weakened America is facing a possible war with the People’s Republic of China. While the threat grows, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Bishop Garrison are fighting the military.

“Ensuring our security means eradicating hate in our ranks,” Garrison has argued.

It’s not the job of the military to brainwash soldiers or to control what they think. The men and women who join the military put their lives on the line to protect our country. Ensuring our security means freeing them from being harassed by racist witch hunters like Bishop Garrison.

And letting them do their job of protecting our country from Communist China.

Biden militarized our nation’s capital and demilitarized our border. He surrendered to Communist China and went to war against our own military. Garrison, like his Democrat bosses, spends a good deal of time throwing around words like “sedition” and “treason”.

But this is real treason.

This Isn’t Your Father’s Left-Wing Revolution

Today’s revolutionaries aren’t fighting “the Man”—they are “the Man.”

By Victor Davis Hanson

Starry-eyed radicals in the 1960s and 1970s dreamed that they either were going to take over America or destroy it. 

One of their favorite psychodramatic mottos was “Change it or Lose it,” even as protests focused on drugs, music, race, class, sex, fashion—and almost anything and everything. 

Sixties radicals tutored America on long hair, wire-rim eyeglasses, and who was a drag, a square, a bummer, and who was hip, cool, groovy, mellow, and far out. Most of these silly revolutionaries were not unhinged Weathermen killers or SDS would-be Communists, but just adolescents along for the good-time ride.

With the end of the draft in 1972, the winding down of the Vietnam War, the oil embargoes, and the worsening economy, the ’60s revolution withered away. Cynics claimed the “revolution” was always mostly about middle-class students with long hair, kicking back during the peak of the postwar boom, indulging their appetites, and ensuring they would not end up in Vietnam. 

It is not even true that the ’60s at least ensured needed reform. The civil rights movement and equal rights for women and gays were already birthed before the hippies, as were folk songs, and early rock music. 

Instead, what the ’60s revolution did was accelerate these trends—but also radicalize, manipulate, and coarsen them. 

The grasping “yuppies” of the 1980s were the natural successors to let-it-all-hang-out hippies. The ’60s were at heart a narcissistic free-for-all when “freedom” often entailed self-indulgence and avoiding responsibility. 

about:blankabout:blankBy 1981, the Reagan revolution finished off the dead-enders of the Woodstock Generation. Most eventually grew up. They rebooted their self-centered drug, sex, and party impulses to fixations on money, status, and material things. 

Sixties protestors mainlined divorce, abortion on demand, promiscuity, drug use, and one-parent homes. But in the end, most veteran cultural revolutionaries by the late 1970s and 1980s had gotten married, were raising families, bought homes, got jobs, and made money.

But this time around, their offspring’s left-wing assault is different—and far more ominous. The woke grandchildren of the former outsiders are now more ruthless, systematic insiders. The woke and wired new establishment knows how to use their money and power to rebirth America as something the founders and most current Americans never envisioned.

Name one mainline institution that the woke Left does not now control—and warp. The media? The campuses? Silicon Valley? Professional sports? The corporate boardroom? Foundations? The K-12 educational establishment? The military hierarchy? The administrative state? The FBI top echelon?

The Left absorbed them all. But this time around it really believes that “by any means necessary” is no mere slogan. Instead, it is a model of how to disrupt or destroy 233 years of American customs, traditions, and values.  

about:blankWoke revolutionaries are not panhandlers, street people, or Grateful Dead groupies. They are not even a few ragtag, nutty, and murderous Symbionese Liberation Army terrorists fighting against “the Man.” 

They are “the Man.” 

Our 21st-century revolutionaries are multibillionaires in flip-flops, tie-dye T-shirts, and nose rings, but with the absolute power and wish to censor how half the country communicates—or cancel them entirely. 

They don’t flock to campus free-speech areas; they are the campus administrators who ban free speech. 

They don’t picket outside the Pentagon; they are inside the Pentagon. 

They don’t chant “eat the rich”; they are the rich who eat at Napa Valley’s French Laundry. 

They don’t protest “uptight” values, because they are more intolerant and puritanical than any Victorian. 

about:blankabout:blankTheir leaders are not stoners who smoke dope, but the stone-sober who scan data on spreadsheets, downloads, and page views.

They don’t believe in racial quotas based on “proportional representation,” because they are racists who demand underrepresentation of “bad” racial groups and overrepresentation of “good” groups. The color of our skin is their gospel, not the content of our character.

They are top-down revolutionaries. None of their agendas, from open borders and changing the Constitution to critical race theory and banning clean-burning fossil fuels, ever polls 50 percent. 

Their guidebook is “ never let a crisis go to waste.” Only in times of a pandemic, a national quarantine, or volatile racial relations, can the new upscale leftist revolutionaries use fear to push through policies that no one in calm times could stomach.

Our revolutionaries hate dissent. They destroy any who question their media-spun hoaxes like Russian collusion, the bat origin of COVID-19, or the idea that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian plant. 

about:blankTruth is their enemy, and fear is their weapon. Sixties paranoid revolutionaries warned about George Orwell’s 1984; but our revolutionaries are 1984.

While this elitist leftist revolution is more dangerous than its sloppy 1960s’ predecessor, it is also more vulnerable given its obnoxious, top-heavy apparatus—but only if the proverbial people finally say to their madness, “Enough is enough.

Satellite images of Iran nuclear site raise alarms as IAEA meets in Vienna

The new images show vehicles at the site in October 2020, and a new access road and excavation in January 2021 that was covered up in March

Satellite images of Iran nuclear site raise alarms as IAEA meets in Vienna

Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin has the details

During a crucial IAEA board meeting in Vienna, the U.S. accused Iran of violating the very nuclear deal that U.S. negotiators are trying to reinstate.

“Since this Board last met, Iran has also exceeded JCPOA constraints by enriching uranium to 60 percent U-235,” the U.S. delegation said in a statement.

IRAN LOSES VOTING RIGHTS AT UN AFTER FAILING TO PAY DUES

 The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, issued a similar warning. “My expectations about this process, of course, were not met,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director said. “We have a country that has a very developed and ambitious nuclear program, which is enriching at very high levels, enriching uranium at very high levels, very close to weapons-grade.”

The head of the IAEA said it is no longer possible to say for certain that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, chastising Tehran for failing to answer questions about the discovery of uranium particles at former undeclared nuclear sites.

“The Iranian government has reiterated its will to engage and to cooperate and to provide answers,” Grossi said. “But they haven’t done that so far. So I hope this may change, but as we speak, we haven’t had any concrete progress on any of the issues.”

Satellite images shows the site as of Jan. 18, 2021 (Courtesy of Intel Lab)

The IAEA agreed to extend a monitoring arrangement for a month until after Iran’s presidential election, as U.S. and Iranian negotiators prepare to sit down and try to hammer out a new nuclear deal.

New activity at known Iranian nuclear sites worries those seeking a new nuclear deal. A sixth round of indirect talks about a return to the JCPOA is slated for Thursday.

“We don’t know, at this stage, whether Iran is willing and able to do what it would need to do to come back into compliance,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told U.S. lawmakers. “I would anticipate that even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions will remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. If they are not inconsistent with the JCPOA, they will remain unless and until Iran’s behavior changes.”

(Satellite images of the site as of Oct. 15, 2020 (Courtesy of Intel Lab))

Fox News has obtained new satellite images that show unusual activity at Iran’s Sanjarian site, which has been exposed in the past as a suspected manufacturing site for “shock wave generators” – devices which would allow Iran to miniaturize a nuclear weapon.

The new images obtained from Maxar show 18 vehicles at the site on October 15, 2020, more vehicles and excavation in January along with a new access road that was later covered up in March of this year. All that is visible by satellite now are excavation swirls and new trenches, according to analysis from Itay Bar Lev of The Intel Lab who worked in conjunction with the Institute for Science and International Security.

The site, which is 25 miles outside Tehran and has a population of 361, was first revealed when Israel’s Mossad obtained Iran’s secret nuclear archive in 2018: 50,000 computer files and 50,000 documents outlining Iran’s Amad project, the scientific program to build a nuclear weapon which the IAEA says was halted in 2003.

Israel says Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons continues. Now the IAEA — frustrated by Iran’s lack of transparency — says it can’t rule that out.

CIA (Dis)Information Operations Come Home To The US

BY TYLER DURDEN

MONDAY, JUN 07, 2021

Via WeMeantWell.com,

Reporters joke the easiest job in Washington is CIA spokesman. You need only listen carefully to questions and say “No comment’ before heading to Happy Hour. The joke, however, is on us. The reporters pretend to see only one side of the CIA, the passive hiding of information about itself. They meanwhile choose to profit from the other side of the equation, active information operations designed to influence events in America. It is 2021 and the CIA is running an op against the American people.

Leon Panetta, the Director CIA from 2009 to 2011 explained bluntly his CIA did influence foreign media outlets ahead of elections in order to “change attitudes within the country.” The method, Panetta said, was to “acquire media within a country or within a region that could very well be used for being able to deliver a specific message or work to influence those that may own elements of the media to be able to cooperate, work with you in delivering that message.”

The CIA has been running such information ops to influence foreign elections since the end of WWII. Richard Bissell, who ran the agency’s operations during the Cold War, wrote of “exercising control over a newspaper or broadcasting station, or of securing the desired outcome in an election.” A report on the CIA in Chile boasts the Agency portrayed its favored candidate in one election as a “wise, sincere and high-minded statesman” while painting his leftist opponent as a “calculating schemer.” At one point in the 1980s foreign media insertions ran 80 a day.

The goal is to control information as a tool of influence. Sometimes the control is very direct, simply paying a reporter to run a story, or, as was done in Iraq, simply operating the media outlet yourself (known as the Orwellian Indigenous Media Project.) The problem is such direct action is easily exposed, destroying credibility.

A more effective strategy is to become a source for legitimate media such that your (dis)information inherits their credibility. The most effective is an operation so complex one CIA plant is the initial information source while a second CIA plant acts seemingly independently as a confirming source. At that point you can push information to the mainstream media, who can then “independently” confirm it, sometimes unknowingly, through your secondary agents. You can basically write tomorrow’s headlines.

Other techniques include exclusive true information mixed with disinformation to establish credibility, using official sources like Embassy spokesmen to appear to inadvertently confirm sub details, and covert funding of research and side gigs to promote academics and experts who discredit counter-narratives. The academics may never know where their money comes from, adding to their credibility.

From the end of WWII to the Church Committee in 1976, this was all just a conspiracy theory. Of course the US would not use the CIA to influence elections, especially in fellow democracies. Except it did. By its nature reporting on intelligence always requires one to work with limited information. Always give time a chance to explain.

Through Operation Mockingbird the CIA ran over 400 American journalists as direct assets. Almost none have ever discussed their work publically. CIA documents show journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations. The New York Times alone willingly provided cover for about ten CIA officers over decades and kept quiet about it. Such long term relationships are a powerful tool, so feeding a true big story to a young reporter to get him promoted is part of the game. Don’t forget the anonymous source who drove the Watergate story was an FBI official who through his actions made the careers of  cub reporters Woodward and Bernstein. Bernstein went on to champion the Russiagate story. Woodward became a Washington hagiographer. Ken Dilanian, formerly with the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, and now working for NBC, maintains a “collaborative relationship” with the CIA.

That’s the tradecraft and the history. The problem for America is once again the tools of war abroad have come home. The intelligence community is currently operating against the American people using established media.

Some of it can’t be more obvious. The CIA always planted stories in foreign media for American outlets to pick up. The Agency works directly with Hollywood to control movies about itself. Turn on any of the advocacy media outlets and you see panels of former CIA officials. Journalist Matt Taibbi even created a list (and since ex-‘s need agency clearance to speak, all are of the officially approved class.) None is more egregious than John Brennan, former Director CIA, who for years touted Russiagate when he knew from information gathered while he was still in office it was all a lie.  The uber-lie that Trump was dirty with Russia was leaked to the press most likely by Brennan in January 2017 as the kick off event to the info op still running today.

Brennan’s role is more than speculation. John Durham, the US attorney leading the ongoing “how it happened” Russiagate investigation into the intelligence community, has requested Brennan’s emails and call logs from CIA. Durham is also examining whether Brennan changed his story between his public comments (not under oath, say anything) and his May 2017 testimony to Congress (under oath, watch out for perjury) about the dossier. Reporter Aaron Mate is less delicate, laying out the evidence Brennan was “a central architect and promoter of the conspiracy theory from its inception.” Even blunter is Senator Rand Paul, who directly accuses Brennan of trying “to bring down a sitting president.”

Let’s see how that worked to understand how info ops intertwine with covert ops. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report shows the FBI unleashed a full-spectrum spying campaign based on the root of the information op, the Dossier. Horowitz’s report shows it was a team effort among the 5 Eyes — Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, a man with ties to his nation’s intel services, arranged a meeting with Trump staffer George Papadopoulos to set in motion FBI FISA surveillance. Trump officials were also monitored by British GCHQ. The op used CIA assets, the shadowy academics Mark Halper and Joseph Mifsud, as dangles. We see a honey trap run in classic style, with a female FBI undercover agent inserted into social situations with a Trump staffer. Dossier author and ex-British intel officer Christopher Steele created a textbook officer’s information loop, secretly becoming his own corroborating source.

It was all based on nothing but disinformation and the American press swallowed every bit of it, turning the op into a three year tantrum falsely convincing a vast number of citizens their nation was run by a Russian asset. Robert Mueller, whose investigation was supposed to propel all this nothing into impeachment hearings, ended up exercising one of the last bits of political courage Americans will ever see in walking right to the edge of essentially a coup and refusing to step off into the abyss.

The CIA is a learning institution, and recovered well from Russiagate. Details can be investigated. That’s where the old story fell apart. The dossier wasn’t true. But the a-ha discovery was since you’ll never formally prosecute anyone, why bother with evidence. Just throw out accusations and let the media fill it all in for you. The new paradigm included let the nature of the source — the brave lads of the intelligence agencies — legitimize the accusations this time, not facts. Go overt and use the new, unexpected prestige of the CIA as progressive heros to substantiate things.

So in December 2017 CNN reported Donald Trump, Jr. had advance access to the WikiLeaks archive. Within an hour, NBC’s Ken Dilanian and CBS both claimed independent confirmation. It was a complete lie, based on fabricated documents. How do you confirm a lie? Ask another liar.

In February 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) briefed the House Intelligence Committee the Russians were election meddling again to favor Trump. A few weeks earlier, the ODNI briefed Bernie Sanders the Russians were also meddling in the Democratic primaries in his favor. Both briefings were leaked, the former to the New York Times to smear Trump for replacing his DNI, the latter to the Washington Post ahead of the Nevada caucuses to damage Sanders.

In June 2020 The New York Times stated CIA officials concluded the Russians “secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops.”  The story ran near another claiming Trump had spoken disrespectfully about fallen soldiers. Neither story was true. But they broke around the same time Trump announced his plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, aimed at discouraging pro-military voters.

Earlier this month The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, claimed the FBI gave a defensive briefing to Rudy Giuliani in 2019, before he traveled to Ukraine. Giuliani supposedly ignored the warning. The story was “independently confirmed” by both NBC and The New York Times. It was totally false.

The American system always envisioned an adversarial role for the media. One of the earliest challenges to freedom of the press was the Colonial-era Peter Zenger case, which established the right of the press to criticize politicians free from libel charges. At times when things really mattered and even as other journalists hid under their beds, men like Edward R. Murrow worked their craft to preserve democracy. Same for Walter Cronkite finally reaching his opposition to the Vietnam War, and the New York Times reporters weighing imprisonment to publish the Pentagon Papers.

In each of those instances the handful of reporters who risked everything to tell the truth were held up as heroes. Seeing the Times fighting for its life, the Washington Post co-published the Pentagon Papers to force the government to make its case not just against a rival newspaper, but the 1A itself.

Not today. Journalism is today devoted to eliminating practitioners unwilling to play the game. Few have been targeted more than Glenn Greenwald (with Matt Taibbi as runner up.) Greenwald exploded into a journalistic superhero for his reporting on Edward Snowden’s NSA archive, founding The Intercept to serve as a platform for that work (Greenwald’s downfall parallels Julian Assange, who went from liberal hero for exposing the foundational lies of the Iraq War to zero when his Wikileaks was demonized for supposedly helping Donald Trump.)

Greenwald’s criticism of the media for accepting Deep State lies as truth, particularly concerning Russiagate, turned him into a villian for progressives. MSNBC banned him, and other media outlets ran stories critical of him. Then something very, very odd happened to make it appear The Intercept outed one of its own whistleblower sources. Evidence suggests the source was a patsy, set up by the intel community, and exposed via Matt Cole, one of The Intercept journalists on this story. Cole was also involved in the outing of source CIA officer John Kiriakou in connection with torture claims. Either way new whistleblowers will think twice before turning to The Intercept. Greenwald recently quit the site after it refused to publish his article on Hunter Biden’s ties to China unless he deleted portions critical of Joe Biden.

Greenwald seems to have figured out the intel community’s game, writing “the most significant Trump-era alliance is between corporate outlets and security state agencies, whose evidence-free claims they unquestioningly disseminate… Every journalist, even the most honest and careful, will get things wrong sometimes, and trustworthy journalists issue prompt corrections when they do. That behavior should be trust-building. But when media outlets continue to use the same reckless and deceitful tactics — such as claiming to have ‘independently confirmed‘ one another’s false stories when they have merely served as stenographers for the same anonymous security state agents while ‘confirming’ nothing — that strongly suggests a complete indifference to the truth and, even more so, a willingness to serve as disinformation agents.”

Democracy has no meaning if people simply vote uninformed, as they are propagandized. It will be sport for future historians to mark the thing that most pushed America into decline. Seeing decades of success abroad in using info ops, the CIA and others turned those weapons inward. So seeing her Deep State meddle in presidential politics, simultaneously destroying (albeit mostly with their cooperation) the adversarial media, while crushing faith in both our leaders and in the process of electing them, will certainly be a top qualifier.