James Scaminaci III Profile picture
4GW researcher. Former chief, SFOR CJ2 Special Projects. Specialties: counter-terrorism, counter-mafia, Balkans. Retired sr civ intel analyst. PhD Soc Stanford.
Neal Rauhauser Profile picture James Scaminaci III Profile picture Aviva Gabriel Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
15 Jan
1/ THREAD on Oath Keepers and an Insurrection of Total War. Stewart Rhodes is head of Oath Keepers, an anti-government organization that makes direct appeals for membership among active-duty military and law enforcement, as well as veterans. The organization serves as the spine
2/ of the larger paramilitary militia movement, a nation-wide recruiter of local people to form their own local militias, a vector to radicalize and recruit the then Tea Party movement members into the larger “Patriot” worldview, as well as a link to the Ron Paul libertarian
3/ network. However, the main purpose of Oath Keepers is to subvert the military and law enforcement from within. Rhodes wants national, state, and local decision-makers to harbor doubts that their orders will be obeyed. Similarly, the recruitment of active-duty military and law
Read 32 tweets
22 Nov 20
Joe Biden spent much of the general election in his basement. Now, he and his aides ponder a very public inauguration. washingtonpost.com/politics/biden… No one doubted the legitimacy of LBJ's taking the oath of office on the airplane from Dallas. Biden does not need an inauguration with a
2/ with a crowd. Why not be sworn in inside the Oval Office, give his speech, and then sit down with a mountain of executive orders and start dismantling the Trump regime's assault on everything we hold dear? Why risk having Americans travel to DC by plane, train, etc? If you are
3/ going to ask Americans to make sacrifices to beat this pandemic into oblivion, start on the very first day. Stop being a prisoner to media expectations and normative expectations. Show the American people that their safety and welfare comes first and you and VP Harris are
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22 Nov 20
The problem with this is Russia did ZERO to divide--the GOP & Christian Right did that, plus Limbaugh, conservative talk radio, Fox News, CBN, & blogosphere. The Russian contribution to this division is essentially nil. The Trump campaign in 2016 spent $70 MILLION PER MONTH on
2/ suppressing the Black vote, getting Sanders' voters to vote third party, and get their base out. The Russian IRA spent a pittance. What the Russians did do, is use the hack of DNC/Podesta emails to get the mainstream media to make a shitstorm of articles about nothing. Those
3/ emails and the blizzard of mainstream articles (I see you, NYT) forced Clinton on to the defensive, reinforced Trump's "crooked Hillary" narrative, and diverted attention away from Trump's own problems. FFS, immediately after the "Access Hollywood" tape dropped, there was a
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22 Nov 20
Conquering for Jesus: The Politics of Spiritual Warfare (Part 1) via @YouTube @profagagne has produced a 3-part video based on his university lectures (with a transcript) that provides the clearest understanding of how the Christian Right's, actually the
2/ New Apostolic Reformation, a Venn diagram of fundamentalists, evangelicals, pentecosals, & charismatics use the tools of "spiritual warfare" to engage in real-world political warfare. This political warfare is a form of Fourth Generation Warfare for it holds that anyone who
3/ opposes their Christian nationalist view of America is opposed to God and therefore an illegitimate ruler in service to Satan. In Part 3, he shows a video of a march against the largest abortion clinic in NC. In 2 years, 23,000 people showed up. You can imagine these prayer
Read 9 tweets
22 Nov 20
Survey uncovers widespread belief in 'dangerous' Covid conspiracy theories theguardian.com/world/2020/oct… The leap of logic here is breathtaking. Anti-vaccine is based on this excerpt. Now, almost everything the public knows about these vaccines is based on press releases from the drug
2/ companies, not peer-reviewed scientific papers or from government scientists and regulatory boards responsible for safeguarding public health. The assumption that drug companies' statements can be taken at face value is a value judgement publics around the world do not share
3/ educated elites. Take the opioid crisis. The Washington Post series showed drug companies intimidating and sidelining the DEA through the manipulation of Congress with $$$$ and doctors & pharmacies dispensing mountains of pills for profits. And then people see Trump & other
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25 Oct 20
Kleptopia review: power, theft and Trump as leader in Putin’s own image theguardian.com/us-news/2020/o… In the early 2000s, Western intelligence agencies saw transnational organized crime and corruption as a major threat to Western institutions and democracy. What was obvious then and
2/ now is that this criminal threat was tied tightly to the Big Capitalist System of International Finance. You look at the staggering amounts of money laundering and you realize that is not possible to do without the collaboration or cooperation of major Western banks, coupled
3/ with legal tax havens. Big Capitalism is amoral, if not immoral. Big Capitalism hides the money of legitimate corporations and billionaires. It uses lawyers, accountants, & financial wizards. It is a massive legal con game--to hide money and punish commoners. The same legal
Read 6 tweets
25 Oct 20
The end of democracy? To many Americans, the future looks dark if the other side wins. washingtonpost.com/politics/end-o… This article is a prime reason why academicians, primarily historians, are a poor guide to understanding what is happening. The fault is their methodology. There are
2/ mysterious forces that move Americans. They are "seeking to fill a void." Not even Michael Barkun, who wrote 2 books on right-wing conspiracy theories rooted in Christian Identity, sees a deliberate strategy of polarization. And that is the key. If you don't look for a
3/ strategy, then you don't see a strategy; you see mysterious forces. @NormOrnstein in their book It Is Worse Than It Looks saw a deliberate strategy of destruction. John Dean and Thomas Frank see deliberate destruction. Hofstadter & Lipset saw the destructive orientation of
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5 Oct 20
Levels of trust in America—in our institutions, in our politics, and in one another—are in precipitous decline. And when social trust collapses, nations fail. Can we get it back before it’s too late? @nytdavidbrooks on America’s moral convulsion: theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… // This
2/ is a very serious essay by David Brooks--much longer than what he can write in the NY Times. He does a very good job of looking at the macro indicators of social mistrust and the larger social-economic forces that drive social mistrust. But, like many conservative and liberal
3/ public intellectuals, the main driver of social distrust and destruction of institutions is completely omitted: the Christian Right. As I ended my interview with @PaulHRosenberg in Salon, salon.com/2020/09/26/beh… public intellectuals completely ignore Hofstadter's
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25 Sep 20
1820 Has a Lot to Tell Us About 2020 nytimes.com/2020/09/25/opi… My minority view is that the role of the US as a superpower is essentially over. We're done. We are so divided, that we cannot possibly conduct a relatively stable Cold War policy with Russia & China over the next
2/ several decades. The GOP has already proven that it will accept help from Russia. Despite the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report, Sen Rubio, the new chairman, repudiated it as soon as it was published. Given our deep divisions, we're finished. Politics used to stop at our
3/ water's edge. Now, the GOP invites the Russians to directly attack our democracy while the GOP directly attacks our institutions. Trump & the GOP are doing everything within the constitution to institute authoritarian rule and delegitimize everything I've ever believed in. And
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25 Sep 20
‘Everything's for sale’: the shocking film on the privatization of American public lands theguardian.com/environment/20… What is vitally important to remember are two things: 1. The push to steal the public's land has been ongoing since Reagan. It would be theft of the ages by oil, gas,
2/ coal, timber, & other mining companies. They already pillage the lands for virtually free. Other key players are the Mormon Church & billionaires. 2. The ruling class who wants to steal the public's lands uses the Bundy's, the "patriot" paramilitary gangs, and others as
3/ ideological camouflage. The latter are the active measures disinformation campaign. I wrote about both aspects in this paper. academia.edu/8674729/CHAPTE…
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20 Sep 20
Weary Gulf Coast mayors say hurricane season has changed for the worse, which many attribute to climate shifts washingtonpost.com/national/hurri… // Just to put Mayor Robinson's (Pensacola) statements in context. He's the mayor of the largest, most important city in NWFL that is in Matt
2/ Gaetz's FL CD1 congressional district. It is a region filled with yahoos, morons, idiots, and imbeciles. You can go into the county-located Publix and see the hillbillies walking in grinning without masks. You can in the county. Pensacola, mask mandated. NWFL is really Lower
3/ Alabama. We have billboards all over the roads about how the imaginary sky daddy will bring peace, comfort, better life, whatever. Our billboards state, Geezus will judge you. So, he wants to talk about solutions and skip the climate change. The only thing the GOP understands
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10 Sep 20
"I’m not advocating for voting against the GOP merely to punish Republicans for Trump’s existence in their party. Rather, conservatives must finally accept that at this point Trump and the Republican Party are indistinguishable," @RadioFreeTom writes: theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
2/ As good as this essay is, it says nothing about two things that drive Republican politics: race and religion. What would a "new" GOP offer regarding issues related to race, broadly considered? Second, what would a "new" GOP propose as an alternative to the Christian Right's
3/ break with reality on science and Christian nationalism? Are "new" GOPers going to support evolution, the Big Bang, and climate change science? Will GOPers still pander to the "Christian nation" crowd? @RadioFreeTom suggests that the Beltway issues of conservatives--small
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9 Sep 20
Who Can Win America’s Politics of Humiliation? nytimes.com/2020/09/08/opi… Bernie Sanders has done this. Putting aside racial resentment, there is a great deal of working class resentment against the political & economic elites on materialist issues. The GOP & Christian Right has
2/ succeeded, in part, by shifting those materialist resentments into non-materialist, culture war issues. But, being screwed over by these elites has been going on since the 1980s. Economic inequalities have grown; social mobility has stagnated; and, business has workers at
3/ mercy with the erosion of union density and worker rights. Trump taps both resentments--class and race. But, guess what? Almost all social surveys & social scientists only collect & analyze, respectively, racial resentments. They overlook or ignore the rage that Americans have
Read 5 tweets
7 Sep 20
Decoding QAnon: From Pizzagate to Kanye to Marina Abramovic, this conspiracy covers everything salon.com/2020/09/07/dec… Guffey wrote a very good four-part series on QAnon from the perspective of a researcher on conspiracy theories. But, why the focus on Hollywood? But, he never
2/ links it to the Christian Right's Seven Mountains doctrine of dominionism (Christians holding sole power in society). He does not tie it back to the New Apostolic Reformation's casting of politics as an existential conflict between God and Satan, Good and Evil. @profagagne has
3/ touched on this link. He did a tweet string on a NAR guy finding clues in Q. The confirmation bias goes beyond being pro-Trump. QAnon appeals to Christian nationalists because it reflects back to them their own religious ideology of Satanists running the government. And this
Read 4 tweets
6 Sep 20
There's another of thinking about the "Boogaloo" movement and attempting to define it. In 1992, Yugoslavia had an army, the JNA. Then, one day, the Republika Srpska had an army. They changed patches. Suddenly, US intel was trying to build an order of battle database on these new
2/ units. What was obvious to me was not obvious to the rest of the intel community. Nobody fights for free. Not even Americans during the Revolutionary War. So, who was paying their salaries & pensions? Milosevic. That should have been blindingly obvious. The same with the
3/ Boogaloo. We have known since the 1990s that neo-Nazis were blending in without obvious Nazi tattoos. Muting their language to appeal to the conservative religious base of the GOP. All documented by scholars. How easy is it, really, to put on a Hawaiian shirt to disguise that
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4 Sep 20
"Time and again, I’ve had conversations with Trump supporters who believe the president is all that stands between them and cultural revolution," @Peter_Wehner writes: theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… Peter Wehner dances all around the huge turd in the GOP punchbowl: the Christian Right.
2/ Since the 1960s, when Rousas Rushdoony launched the small but highly influential Christian Reconstructionist movement (read @FredClarkson @julieingersoll ) the conservative religious right has constructed an alternate universe of institutions, experts, science, & information
3/ based on existential fears and the hostility of the federal government, liberals, the Democratic Party, and Black people. They built cultish, abusive churches (read @dogemperor ) that forms the base of the GOP (read @CultExpert ), author of The Cult of Trump. Trump is the
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3 Sep 20
Opinion | The U.S. is facing many old European anxieties washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-u… Needless to say George Will & all the scholars he quotes get it wrong. Marty Lipset postulated that a stable government/society depended upon a government's effectiveness and legitimacy. Effective-
2/ is delivering the goods. And on this issue, America's elites have failed miserably. Economically, the only people who have significantly benefited are the rich, the top 1% or even the top 0.1%. Economic inequality has grown since the 1980s, even as productivity increased. Life
3/ has gotten harder and the prospects for social mobility have dimmed. Economic inequality has led to increased political inequality, as the rich dominate government policies and narratives. And on foreign policy, since 2001, it has been one strategic failure after another. We
Read 5 tweets
26 Aug 20
I watched "Hannah Arendt" the 2014 movie last night on Sundance. I read "Eichmann in Jerusalem" decades ago. Her thesis on the "banality of evil" stirred controversy in Israel and still generates fierce philosophical disagreements. But, I wonder, how her concept would be applied
2/ to the Americans in various bureaucracies in the Department of Homeland Security and others responsible for the welfare of refugee/immigrant children. Surely, separating infants and young children from their mothers/fathers is horrifying. And yet, the bureaucracy and its civil
3/ servants complied and carried it out. In this case, we do not suffer from a historical barrier of time, of language (German), or of culture (German/Jewish). Nor do we have to consider policies/crimes in the context of the Shoah. The civil servants are literally our neighbors.
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25 Aug 20
"The emergence of whiteness as a category of analysis is not always a bad thing. But if you go too far, you make it so that there is no common world possible across racial boundaries," @JohannNeem tells @conor64: theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… // I spent 4 years inside post-war Bosnia- Image
2/ Herzegovina and talking to Croats, Serbs, & Muslims there was a common narrative. Under Tito, even though there were 3 main ethnic-religious groups, at work they all shared each others' holidays. When the Muslims had a holy day off, the Croats & Serbs became Muslim for a day.
3/ The Muslims did the same on Croat & Serb days. Sure, you could be a cynic and say the workers wanted a day off. But, the conversations were about how they genuinely shared in Titoism, the sense of brotherhood. It was the ethno-nationalists, especially the bosses at work, who
Read 5 tweets
24 Aug 20
PolitiFact - Fact-checking the pedophilia attacks against Joe Biden politifact.com/factchecks/202… The "Biden is a pedophile" meme on Facebook & Instagram is a derivative and diminutive example of the QAnon conspiracy theory which holds that Democratic & Hollywood elites run a global
2/ pedophilia ring. A second part of the conspiracy theory is that Trump is using Q as part of a war on the "deep state." In other words, it is an ideological cover for the destruction of the rule of law and a fourth generation warfare attack on the legitimacy of the Democratic
3/ Party. Politifact's verdict. In the political realm this particular meme is well-crafted propaganda. It appeals to those who already believe the mainstream media will not report the truth. Thus, true believers believe they are being given an inside scoop that puts them in the ImageImage
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22 Aug 20
Joe’s Fearsome Weapon Against Trump: Simple Decency nytimes.com/2020/08/21/opi… // This is just a replay of Clinton's "deplorables" strategy. Her closing argument in Florida was 6 weeks of showing the uncouth Trump's greatest hits. We are now in the midst of multiple crises that are
2/ life-and-death issues people talk about at the kitchen table: keeping their jobs, their homes, their apartments, their health care, educating their children, surviving the pandemic, and more catastrophic climate. If Biden & Harris cannot discuss everyday how their Government
3/ Policies are going to help families, children, seniors, veterans, and all workers get through these, then Trump will paint them as "big government" "tax and spend" liberals. Here's a hint at what's happening in Alabama with Doug Jones (D, incumbent) against the former Auburn
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