One of the revelations emerging from the “Twitter Files,” is the pervasive nature of contacts between Twitter and the FBI that targeted specific accounts for banning, often based on jokes about the election.
14.Twitter personnel in that case went on to look for reasons to suspend all four accounts, including @fromma, whose tweets are almost all jokes (see sample below), including his “civic misinformation” of Nov. 8: pic.twitter.com/gwiDtPcWZv
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 16, 2022
19.Agent Chan passed the list on to his "Twitter folks": pic.twitter.com/eXaZnC3I7y
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 16, 2022
Indeed, some 80 FBI agents were employed in policing Twitter content around the 2020 elections as agents in field offices were being told that kiddie porn was a “local problem.” (See Musk and Taibbi Demand Answers About FBI Asking Twitter to Track Americans, Nail Ted Lieu in Troubling Admission and New Twitter Files Drop Delves Deeper Into FBI Involvement in Content Moderation.)
Not only were a slew of FBI agents assigned to oversee Twitter, but there were a lot of former FBI agents inside the organization. Twitter’s General Counsel was Jim Baker, the man behind whitewashing the Russia Hoax when he held a similar position within the FBI. That is only the tip of the iceberg.
29. As of 2020, there were so many former FBI employees — “Bu alumni” — working at Twitter that they had created their own private Slack channel and a crib sheet to onboard new FBI arrivals. pic.twitter.com/prVhPGohOC
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
I’d suggest that this degree of internal organization suggests more than “let’s get together for a few cold ones and talk about old times” going on.
Someone with a lot more ambition than myself has used open-source materials to analyze the staff at META/Facebook. He (?) finds a very similar picture.
1. After learning that Twitter employs at least 15 former FBI agents, I searched Facebook. What I found is alarming
Facebook currently employs at least 115 people, in high-ranking positions, that formerly worked at FBI/CIA/NSA/DHS:
— Name Redacted (@NameRedacted247) December 19, 2022
Two thoughts emerge from this. While we’ve been mesmerized by the number of former FBI agents operating inside Twitter, we’ve ignored former CIA, NSA, and DHS employees. If we take Facebook as a model, it would imply there are at least twice as many alumni of the CIA, NSA, and DHS as there are FBI agents.
The other is that open source research will only discover a fraction of the law enforcement and intelligence alumni because many of them will not have a social media presence.
Carry this forward from Meta and Twitter to Apple and Google, and the number becomes astounding. It, in my view, goes way past the point where one would think it was attributable to chance.
We also need to consider another possibility. Maybe there are active-duty law enforcement and intelligence agents embedded inside these companies. The Army has a program called “Training with Industry,” where mid-career officers go off to major corporations and work for about a year (see this article). The company gets free labor. The Army gets industry know-how. For example, the logistics system in the First Gulf War was a direct outgrowth of TWI alumni who had worked at FedEx.
This kind of symbiosis would give law enforcement and intelligence the knowledge of the data collected and that could be collected from social media and applied to current operations. I’d suggest that the FBI’s use of Facebook images and videos to hound January 6 jaywalkers is less serendipitous than we would be led to believe. It also gives them the know-how to bring the surveillance possible through social media in-house.
It would also be interesting to see how many HHS/NIH alumni were employed and their role in amplifying the approved messaging on COVID and the COVID vaccine.
All of this calls into question the degree to which the social media companies are corporations that happen to employ large numbers of former law enforcement and intelligence types, and take a lot of instruction from the government on what can and can’t be said on those platforms…or if they are quasi-governmental organizations masquerading as private corporations focused on population control and surveillance.
I don’t think very many people who don’t own crypto-currency object to the government using social media to investigate actual crime and hostile intelligence activity. But, on the other hand, I also don’t think people want their communications subject to government monitoring and their accounts banned because of their politics.
One of the top orders of business for the new GOP majority in the House must be a ruthless investigation into the illegal political activity by the agencies involved, and perhaps equally illicit operations by the CIA directed against American citizens on US soil.