Deconstructing Russiagate, Part 9: Preparations for a New World War (Section D)

Andrew Breitbart and Bibi Discussing How Epic It Would Be if Trump Was President

With Thiel and Flynn, we have two men at the center of the 2016 Trump campaign who, contrary to what “alt”-right propaganda and liberal fearmongering say, are steeped in the so-called “establishment” And as I have already pointed out Steve Bannon, usually thought of as the “real” populist of the Trump administration, was at any given time in his career a stone’s throw away from the corrupt world of criminal “globalism” that he professed to stand against. With this in mind, we can finally discuss the real role in the election of Donald Trump of Robert Mercer, his daughter Rebekah and his public relations/data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica. 

I believe that Russiagaters are correct when they single out Cambridge Analytica as a particular point of concern regarding Trump-era “corruption.” However, they frame the Mercer saga completely incorrectly. Just like every other figure looming large in the Trump campaign, Mercer and his clique are exemplary not of “corruption” in the abstract, but of the corruption intrinsic to bourgeois democracy itself. 

Before achieving Rasputin status among Russigaters, Robert Mercer managed a hedge fund named Renaissance Technologies, founded by Cold War codebreaker Jim Simons. According to Gregory Zuckerman’s book on Simons, the Renaissance founder is worth approximately $23 billion, making him wealthier than Elon Musk, Rupert Murdoch, and Steve Jobs’s widow, Laurene Powell. “Others at the firm are also billionaires,” Zuckerman notes. “The average Renaissance employee has nearly $50 million just in the firm’s own hedge funds.”

In the days before Renaissance, Simons worked at Harvard and then the Institute for Defense Analyses, “an elite research organization that hired mathematicians from top universities to assist the National Security Agency…in detecting and attacking Russian codes and ciphers.” It was the IDA which taught Simons “how to develop mathematical models to discern and interpret patterns in seemingly meaningless data.” At one point, Simons did so well at IDA that his team took a trip to Washington to receive personal thanks from the Pentagon. Eventually, Simons realized he could use his new talents to start a company which took the computing power and data analysis procedures of the IDA and applied them to the securities industries. 

As Zuckerman explains, the former Harvard professor and three of his colleagues:

“…developed a newfangled stock-trading system. The quartet published an internal, classified paper for the IDA called “Probabilistic Models for and Prediction of Stock Market Behavior” that proposed a method of trading that the researchers claimed could generate annual gains of at least 50 percent…Simons and his colleagues ignored the basic information most investors focus on, such as earnings, dividends, and corporate news, what the code breakers termed the ‘fundamental economic statistics of the market.’ Instead, they proposed searching for a small number of ‘macroscopic variables’ capable of predicting the market’s short-term behavior. They posited that the market had as many as eight underlying “states”—such as ‘high variance,’ when stocks experienced larger-than-average moves, and ‘good,’ when shares generally rose…Just as a gambler might guess an opponent’s mood based on his or her decisions, an investor might deduce a market’s state from its price movements.”

Toward the end of the 1970s, Simons officially entered the world of trading, where he “decided to treat financial markets like any other chaotic system.” Similar to scientists analyzing the behavior of molecules or animals, Simons built mathematical models to identify order in financial markets. This is when he started a company named Monemetrics, Renaissance Technologies, which, in 1988, established its Medallion Fund. Four years later, the company brought on Nick Patterson, a Cold War cryptologist for the British government who “built statistical models to unscramble intercepted messages and encrypt secret messages in a unit made famous during World War II when Alan Turing famously broke Germany’s encryption codes.” In fact, Patterson was so valuable to the UK government that “some top-secret documents shared with allies were labeled ‘For US Eyes Only and for Nick Patterson.’” Patterson hired Mercer a year later, poaching him from IBM (where he’d helped develop the Deep Blue computer that famously beat Gary Kasparov in a game of chess). Through Renaissance Technologies and its funds, Simons, with help from a team that included Anglo-American intelligence officials like Patterson and corporate STEMlords such as Mercer, crafted techniques which would revolutionize finance: 

“By combining trading signals from multiple sources, Renaissance was able to develop an adaptive system. This means that the system was capable of learning and adjusting its trades on its own, which was revolutionary for its time.

First, they would identify patterns in historical pricing data. Secondly, they would ensure the patterns were nonrandom and significant. Finally, they figure out the reason behind the patterns and adjust models based on this analysis. It is important to point out that this is one of the many ways to go about quantitative trading, and many funds within the firm relied on several other methods, with this method being a cornerstone of the business. Simons also structured his company in a unique way. Everyone he employed had full access to each line of source code, allowing anyone to make experimental modifications that could improve the system. Simon’s team consisted of seasoned mathematics PhDs who were able to bounce ideas off each other easily, leading to the firm’s success.”

Robert and Rebekah Mercer are portrayed in conventional narratives as Russian-supported traitors who helped Bannon and Co. “sell out” the Republican Party to “the Russians.” But this directly contradicts the record. The Mercers established themselves as major contributions to the GOP well before 2016. Indeed, in 2021, with the supposedly “anti-Trump” movement in full swing inside the GOP, the party still accepted a $20 million donation from the Mercers. Project Veritas, a multi-media journalistic endeavor created by Alt-Right celebrity James O’Keefe, was started under the stewardship of Steve Bannon, but  it received its seed money not only from Mercer but the Koch brothers. In 2012, Mercer donated $4.2 million to several conservative campaigns, including Mitt Romney’s ill fated run for President (Romney is now considered by many liberals to be a “decent” Republican who “stood up” to Trump). One 2014 article even credits Mercer as the man who helped Republicans retake the Senate and expand their House majority that year:

“Thanks both to looser campaign finance rules and his promotion to help lead one of the largest hedge funds in the world, Mercer has quietly become a major player in politics since 2010. He donated more than $8 million this election cycle alone, putting him behind only Singer as the second-largest Republican booster. And Mercer was fourth overall regardless of party after hedge fund manager-turned environmentalist Tom Steyer and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg…Big donations included a $2.5 million check to Kochs’ Freedom Partners Action Fund—more than what the Koch bothers themselves gave to it—a ‘super’ political action committee that spent $24 million to support Republicans including winners Joni Ernst in Iowa and Cory Gardner in Colorado…Mercer also gave $1 million or more each to super PACs Club for Growth Action, which worked to limit the size of government by backing conservative candidates like Arkansas Senate winner Tom Cotton; Ending Spending Action Fund, which also focused on small government by attacking Georgia Senate loser Michelle Nunn, a Democrat; and John Bolton Super PAC, a group supporting the potential GOP presidential candidate and other politicians who are seen as strong on defense, such as North Carolina Senate winner Thom Tillis, a Republican.

Robert Mercer saw the value in using social networks and data collection to refine public relations and, along with his daughter Rebekah, invested heavily in the SCL Group, now known as Cambridge Analytica. The company was founded in the UK in 1990 by Nigel Oakes and recruited heavily from the British bourgeoisie

“The men who run Cambridge Analytica are no strangers to scandal and intrigue and have social and business links to the heart of the Conservative Party, royalty and the British military…Its founding chairman was Sir Geoffrey Pattie, a former defence minister and trade minister under Margaret Thatcher & vice-chairman of the Conservative Partythe company’s board of advisers included Rear Admiral John Tolhurst; Colonel Ian Tunnicliffe, a former strategic communications expert at the Ministry of Defence; and Lord Ivar Mountbatten, great-nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.”

Cambridge Analytica was clearly not a renegade public relations firm pocketing as much money as possible from “the Russians” before inevitably being caught. Indeed, its early work includes an alleged “psychological warfare” operation in Indonesia on behalf of the US-supported government in Jakarta in the year 2000, which came after years of similar scandals in Latvia, Ukraine, Albania, Romania, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, India, The Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Colombia, Antigua, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago. But if that impressive roster of imperialist social engineering and its elite board of directors wasn’t enough to convince you that Cambridge Analytica has its roots planted firmly in the “establishment” which would later exacerbate it for Russiagate, don’t worry; it was also contracted by the US government to aid in the War on Terror. 

Still not enough? Okay, well consider that the man who co-founded Cambridge Analytica with Oakes, Alexander Nix, also works for the Robert Fraser Group, a merchant bank which had Robert Maxwell as its major investor. As Recluse noted, Maxwell:

“…began investing in it in 1986. During that same year, he became the single largest cash contributor to the bank’s new equity and would remain its largest financial patron for the next five years. During this time, the ties between Maxwell and the RFG became quite close indeed. Maxwell’s son, Kevin, joined the bank’s board while its chairman, Lord Geoffrey Rippon, became a director of Maxwell Communications Corporation (MCC), one of the Maxwell family’s various holding companies…

…What’s more, at least two other establishment figures linked to the SCL were old guard Tories who would have been well placed in regards to the arms trafficking Thatcher unleashed during the Iran-Contra era. One was Sir Geoffrey Pattie, a longtime Tory MP who held several crucial posts in Thatcher’s administration. The most noteworthy was Minister of State, Industry, and Information Technology. In this capacity, he oversaw the Department of Industry and Trade (DTI). As Gerald James notes throughout In the Public Interest, the DTI was deeply implicated in shady arms deals throughout the Thatcher years. And Sir Pattie directly oversaw the DTI for a time during this era. Before becoming a full blown Minister, he served as Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Defence Procurement, yet another post linked to arms sales. Indeed, Pattie appears to have spent much of the Thatcher years involved in the arms trade. He apparently impressed someone in this capacity, as he was knighted and made a member of the Privy Council in 1987.

The other old guard Tory is Lord Jonathan Marland. Marland cut his teeth working for the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group, which began as a division of Jardine Matheson and still maintained ties to the parent company until fairly recently. Marland had been a founding director of the Lloyd Thompson branch of the firm, which was acquired by Jardine in 1997.

Jaridne Matheson has its origins in the late eighteenth century in China and has remained one of the principal British businesses in eastern Asia for nearly two centuries now. For years the firm has been owned by the uber-connected Keswick family. Both Jardine Matheson and the Keswicks made much of their fortunes off of smuggling opium. When Jardine Lloyd Thompson was sold this year (2019), it was revealed that the Keswicks controlled 40 per cent of the company…

There are other curious figures linked to SCL, to be sure. Another notable is Lord Ivar Mountbatten. The Mountbatten Klan are part of the extended Royal Family. Ivar’s father, David, was tied up in the Profumo scandal, while his brother George is listed in Epstein’s black book. And then there’s the original Lord Mountbatten, who has been hounded by allegations of sexually abusing children for years.”

The immediate successor to the now-defunct Cambridge Analytica, Emerdata Limited, reunited Nix with the Mercers and added Johnson Chun Shun Co, an executive at Erik Prince’s Frontier Group. The Frontier Group also includes Lital Leshem, a co-founder of Carbyne, an Israeli military intelligence start-up that brought together Jeffrey Epstein, Peter Thiel, David Petraeus and numerous Bush Jr and Trump administration figures as investors, advisors, and board members. At the same time, Thiel became an early investor in Clearview AI, a facial recognition company started by Ton-That, who happened to be friends with Chuck Johnson and Jeff Giesea. According to the Huffington Post:

“Johnson told one source late that year that he viewed the technology as a way to potentially ‘identify every illegal alien in the country.’In early 2017, Johnson introduced Ton-That to another source, saying he was a gifted coder he’d hired to build the facial recognition tool. Around the same time, Johnson stated on Facebook that he was ‘building algorithms to ID all the illegal immigrants for the deportation squads.’

Video and private messages obtained by HuffPost confirm that Johnson and Ton-That were collaborating on far-right schemes in 2016; by early 2017 at the latest, they were in contact about scraping social media platforms for the facial recognition business. At least two people who worked for Johnson took jobs with and worked for Clearview until late March, when the company claims to have severed ties with them after HuffPost reached out with questions.

Thiel himself has an obvious interest in mass surveillance: Palantir, his data-mining behemoth, aggregates enormous amounts of personal information about immigrants and undocumented workers, and it provides the analytical tools for ICE raids…Like other tech products scaled in dodgy ways, Clearview may have grown too big to rein in. Every time police use Clearview, they upload images of people they’re trying to identify ― even child sex abuse victims ― to Ton-That’s unregulated and ever-expanding database, where they are stored indefinitely…

The Clearview clique brought on Richard Schwartz, formerly a top aide to Rudy Giuliani, to help sign up police stations for the service. They also recruited Jessica Medeiros Garrison, a former executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association and Daily Caller contributor, as well as Paul Clement, “the former US. solicitor general and perennial right-wing consideration for the Supreme Court, as its attorney.” In other words, from top to bottom, this company was staffed by “establishment Republican” figures. 

It doesn’t end here. Bannon claims that it was while working for Epstein friend Brock Pierce as CEO of the latter’s IGE company that he first thought of crafting populist conservative messages specifically to young, alienated white American males.Immediately after leaving IGE, Bannon co-founded a reactionary news website with Andrew Breitbart which was first conceived in Israel while Breitbart was visiting with Netanyahu. When the site’s namesake died in 2012, Bannon became head of Breitbart and only a year later he joined Cambridge Analytica’s board of directors. Cambridge Analytica proceeded to hire former British and Israeli spies to engage in “bribery, stings, honey traps, and spying.”  While Bannon was still at IGE, he worked on programs for World of Warcraft and, in doing so, first got the idea to appeal to disillusioned “rootless” young white men to cultivate right wing political activists. At the same time, the NSA and CIA were surveilling World of Warcraft under the guise of counterterrorism. One NSA paper on this operation features chapters titled “Exploitation and Function of Games”, “Why Games Are an Effective Influence Platform” and “Winning Hearts and Minds Virtually.” 

What this all points to is a long con to focus attention on a “rising fascism” rather than a reactionary plutocracy which has emerged under both parties for the last fifty years, an imperialist gangster state which is the logical conclusion of capitalist development as such. If the bourgeoisie can make it appear as if there is one “renegade” portion of American capital which a still fundamentally “democratic” portion opposes, it appears as if there is still some solution to be found within the system. This provides not only a civil society reservoir into which various portions of “the opposition” can dump their agitation, but also a means to turn this diffused anger into speculative assets for the very capitalists who have created the crisis to turn short-term profits from. In the meantime, both parties rubber stamp the longer-term goals of the decaying American bourgeoisie, which are meant to heavily regiment everyone who fails to support the next era of imperialist aggression. 

America is having its Party of Order moment with all the accouterments of the 21st Century surveillance state. Data harvesting has allowed the State to endlessly recycle explosions of discontent into support for the State agenda through things like memetic warfare, which is itself exemplified by Clearview AI’s use of facial recognition tech to ramp up the deportation regime that already started under Obama. While the United States ruling class bears its own “authoritarian” fangs and plots war on Russia and China, Russia and China can be blamed as the enemies of democracy and peace. When the next “Cold War” or “War on Terror”  begins, the biggest enemies of “authoritarianism” will be the State’s most ardent cheerleaders.

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