The Twitter Files reveal that one of the most common news sources of the Trump era was a scam, making ordinary American political conversations look like Russian spywork.
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. Sheerpost
The Twitter Files expose Hamilton 68 as a sham:
The secret ingredient in Hamilton 68’s analytic method was a list of 644 accounts supposedly linked “to Russian influence activities online.” It was hidden from the public, but Twitter was in a unique position to recreate Hamilton’s sample by analyzing its Application Program Interface (API) requests, which is how they first “reverse-engineered” Hamilton’s list in late 2017.
1.THREAD: Twitter Files #15— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 27, 2023
MOVE OVER, JAYSON BLAIR: TWITTER FILES EXPOSE NEXT GREAT MEDIA FRAUD pic.twitter.com/bLRpDpuWql
Let’s dig a bit deeper shall we….
I know some have forgotten about the 2017 hoax called “Hamilton68,” but it’s vital: it was the first attempt to launch this fraudulent “disinformation expertise,” and the first clear sign of the new political union: Dems, neocons (Bill Kristol) and CIA. https://t.co/iKjKyJcyN6— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 28, 2023
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: https://t.co/vxnKAoI9T7— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 27, 2023
With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons
A newly formed and, by all appearances, well-funded national security advocacy group, devoted to more hawkish U.S. policies toward Russia and other adversaries, provides the most vivid evidence yet of an alliance between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons. This union is far more than a marriage of convenience to stop Trump; it reflects broad-based agreement on U.S. hawkishness toward Russia and beyond. Calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the group describes itself as “a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative” that “will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions,” and also “will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.”
The group is led by two longtime Washington foreign policy hands, one from the establishment Democratic wing and the other a key figure among leading GOP neocons.
The Democrat, Laura Rosenberger, served as a foreign policy adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and chief of staff to two Obama national security officials. The Republican is Jamie Fly, who spent the last four years as counselor for foreign and national security affairs to one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, Marco Rubio; prior to that, he served in various capacities in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council. More here.
The widely repeated claims of “Russian disinformation” were based on bogus data Twitter knew to be false. In other words, the political partisans and pundits claiming to protect you against disinformation were most likely to be the ones spreading it.