That was the message from Hamilton 68, a computer tool that supposedly measures “Russian disinformation” content for use by social media. Recent revelations from the Twitter files are showing that the vast majority of accounts that Hamilton 68 flagged as “Russian disinformation” had no relation with Russia.
Basically Hamilton 68 was a scam used to target Trump supporters and others who deviated from the approved political agenda. Here is a description:
Hamilton 68 was and is a computerized “dashboard” designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure “Russian disinformation.” It was the brainchild of former FBI agent (and current MSNBC “disinformation expert”) Clint Watts, and backed by the German Marshall Fund and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan think-tank. The latter’s advisory panel includes former acting CIA chief Michael Morell, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former Hillary for America chair John Podesta, and onetime Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. . .
It was a scam. Instead of tracking how “Russia” influenced American attitudes, Hamilton 68 simply collected a handful of mostly real, mostly American accounts, and described their organic conversations as Russian scheming. As Roth put it, “Virtually any conclusion drawn from [the dashboard] will take conversations in conservative circles on Twitter and accuse them of being Russian.”. . .“The selection of accounts is… bizarre and seemingly quite arbitrary,” wrote Roth. “They appear to strongly preference pro-Trump accounts (which they use to assert that Russia is expressing a preference for Trump… even though there’s not good evidence any of them are Russian).” Move Over, Jayson Blair: Meet Hamilton 68, the New King of Media Fraud
From what I see, the prominent presence of “former” intel officials in the Hamilton 68 organization is no accident. Hamilton 68 simultaneously serves two important objectives that the intel agencies support. First it silenced and discredited support for the elected president using baseless smears. Second it used false narratives to support the idea that Russia is an enemy. A win-win!
Should Hamilton 68 be liable for defamation by people who were targeted by their smears?
Is Hamilton 68 a far greater threat to American democracy and freedom than “Russian disinformation” has ever been?
It’s a governmental pattern like the Infrastructure Bill where the majority of spending is not on infrastructure but who could argue against the name. How about BLM? Who could argue against the fact that black lives matter but this organization was all a lie, using a name that no one could argue against. This is the pattern being used by the liars among us…attempting to sell their lying narrative, instead of providing the basic truth.
Yes, it was not just Trump supporters who were targeted. This Australian commentator is basically anti-war and opposes US foreign policy. She was targeted as well.
The story has gotten very little coverage. That is probably because most of the left-of-center media were complicit as noted in the OP link:
I asked for comment from a huge range of actors — from the Alliance for Securing Democracy to Watts and McFaul and Podesta and Kristol to editors and news directors at MSNBC, Politico, Mother Jones, the Washington Post, Politifact, and others. Not one answered. They’re all going to pretend this didn’t happen. The few reporters who got this right contemporaneously, from Glenn Greenwald to Max Blumenthal to Miriam Elder and Charlie Wurzel of Buzzfeed to sites like Moon of Alabama, can take a victory lap. Almost every other news organization ran these stories and needs to come clean about it.
The Hamilton 68 tale has no clear analog in media history, which may give mainstream media writers an excuse not to cover it. They will be under heavy pressure to avoid addressing this scandal, since nearly all of them work for organizations guilty of spreading Hamilton’s ■■■■■■■■■■ stories in volume.