Stunning 85-page Google memo ‘The Good Censor’ leaked to Breitbart

American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson, October 10, 2018:

If you are not worried about the power of Google to shape debate and elections according to its leftist political bias, you’re not paying attention.  I congratulate Breitbart.com for the scoop, and I urge everyone – I am looking at you, President Trump and Congress – to read and ponder the fate of the Republic unless this company is defanged, most likely by antitrust action, but possibly also via civil courts.  Breitbart is mum about how it came to possess the memo, but I do recall that Google is being sued over its dismissal of James Damore for insufficient adherence to its own ideology, and the discovery process in that lawsuit is almost certainly underway.

You can download and read the entire memo here.  If that is too great a time investment, then read Allum Bokhari’s introduction and summary here, including:

An internal company briefing produced by Google and leaked exclusively to Breitbart News argues that due to a variety of factors, including the election of President Trump, the “American tradition” of free speech on the internet is no longer viable. …

[T]he 85-page briefing, titled “The Good Censor,” admits that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.

The briefing labels the ideal of unfettered free speech on the internet a “utopian narrative” that has been “undermined” by recent global events as well as “bad behavior” on the part of users. …

It acknowledges that major tech platforms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter initially promised free speech to consumers.  “This free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations,” says the document.

The briefing argues that Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are caught between two incompatible positions, the “unmediated marketplace of ideas” vs. “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.”

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The Creepy Line is available on Amazon 

CAIR Proves Irony is Not Dead

One of our staffers made a mistake on social media Monday involving the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). When CAIR pointed it out, he acknowledged the error and deleted the inaccurate post.

But that wasn’t good enough. CAIR likened his position working for IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson to being “‘Chief Googler’ for David Duke.”

The episode is telling, and not in any manner CAIR thinks it is. For starters, it shows how CAIR is quick to point out other people’s mistakes but never acknowledges its own failings. And it shows that CAIR officials lack any sense of irony or self-awareness.

CAIR likened Emerson to the former Ku Klux Klan leader and renowned hater 24 hours after its Missouri chapter co-sponsored a conference with a group called American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a group which supports Hamas and doesn’t simply oppose Israeli policies, but tries to undermine Israel’s entire legitimacy.

The gathering featured a speech by Linda Sarsour. Just a week earlier, the Investigative Project on Terrorism exposed Sarsour’s anti-Semitic tirade in which she blamed Jews for police shootings of unarmed black people in the United States. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), she said, “takes police officers from America, funds their trips, takes them to Israel so they can be trained by the Israeli police and military, and then they come back here and do what? Stop and frisk, killing unarmed black people across the country.”

Here’s the clip:

Sarsour rejects sovereignty for the Jewish people, rejects political support from Zionists and pushes a conspiracy theory that can only foster hatred toward Jews. That sounds an awful lot like David Duke. Yet, she still is welcomed and honored at CAIR events, including fundraisers.

She’s not the only one. CAIR hosts its national fundraising banquet Oct. 20 outside Washington, D.C. Speakers include Yasir Qadhi, a religious leader who advocates for Saudi Arabian-styled restrictions on Muslim women’s lives and has spoken againstcapitalism and democracy, and Hatem Bazian, a leader of the BDS campaign that aims to isolate Israel economically and politically.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, meanwhile, embraces Turkey’s authoritarian Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has jailed thousands of journalists and dissidents and allowed Turkey to be a base for exiled Hamas leaders.

Other Muslims have taken CAIR to task for blindly supporting Erdogan.

But Erdogan’s support for Hamas is relevant to CAIR’s reaction to our staffer’s Twitter error.

It started when Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) reposted an irreverent comic strip called “Jesus and Mo” as part of “Blasphemy Day.” The comic casts Jesus and Mohamed in an “Odd Couple” sort of roommate arrangement in a series that mocks religion.

CAIR’s national Twitter account used Jasser’s post to smear him – a Muslim who advocates for reform of his faith – as an “Islamophobia enabler” and later claimed that reposting a Jesus and Mo comic shows that Jasser and AIFD don’t “have the same respect for our beloved Prophets.”

Maajid Nawaz, a former radical and a fellow advocate for reform within Islam, suggested Wednesday morning that CAIR’s rhetoric could lead radical Muslims to target Nawaz.

“There’s nothing wrong with criticising Islam,” Nawaz wrote, “especially (but not exclusively) if done by Muslims, like him. He’s defending satire here, not criticising it himself. That word Islamophobia is a total misnomer, for this very reason.”

CAIR, meanwhile, grew reticent when the AIFD challenged it to condemn Hamas or acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

It’s a question that CAIR officials have ducked as far back as 2001. Sometimes they try to talk around the question. Other times, they try to use indignation to steamroll the questioner.

Bullying is easy. Acknowledging skeletons in its own closet is a bit more difficult. And CAIR has plenty of skeletons.

It has never directly addressed its roots in a Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States called the “Palestine Committee.” Evidence seized by the FBI show that the committee was charged with helping Hamas politically and financially. And a meeting agenda dated within weeks of CAIR’s 1994 formation places it under the committee’s umbrella.

Awad, the only executive director CAIR has ever had, was listed in a Palestine Committee telephone list.

The evidence was so substantial it prompted the FBI to prohibit agents from working with CAIR outside of formal investigations in 2008, “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS.”

That policy remains in effect a decade later, so the questions either have not been resolved or have answers CAIR doesn’t want you to consider.

CAIR has faced few other consequences for its history, for the radical and often bigoted messages spewed by its officials throughout the country. Reporters rarely ask about them and give CAIR kid-glove treatment.

Despite that, CAIR’s first reaction is to go for the smear. Oppose Islamism and repost a provocative cartoon? You’re an Islamophobe! Make an incorrect assertion, which is acknowledged and corrected? Invoke David Duke.

And in those rare cases in which you are asked about your record? Deflect and attack.

It does tell people a lot about CAIR.

Video: Robert Spencer on Facebook’s censorship of criticism of Islam

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Aug. 18, 2017:

In this new video, I discuss Facebook’s willing compliance with Sharia blasphemy laws, as indicated by Facebook’s Vice President Joel Kaplan traveling to Pakistan to assure the Pakistani government that material critical of Islam would be removed from Facebook.

Also see:

Converts and Jihad

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
July 17, 2017

Muslim converts have long been especially valued by recruiters for Islamist terror groups. “Their ability to operate freely in Europe, Asia, and North America without arousing the suspicion of security authorities,” a 2006 study said, making them especially useful in executing plots. In addition, the study claims, “They are among the most aggressive of Islamist activists.”

More than a decade later, ISIS recruiters continue to seek out new converts. Most of this activity takes place online, according to former radical turned counterterrorism professional Mubin Shaikh, who particularly blames social media. “The volume and speed of information communication – I think what that does is overwhelm young people,” he says. “They exist in a paradigm where kids who get bullied online go and kill themselves. Or it will be the crazy antics they do in videos where they do something extremely dangerous and often it gets them killed. I put this kind of ISIS recruitment in that category of youth being overwhelmed.”

Compound that with the allure of a counterculture identity that, as he notes, has always been cool. “For them, it’s a completely exotic thing.”

Women are especially vulnerable, Shaikh says. “ISIS opened the door to women. Al Qaeda gave them no role. But ISIS said, ‘you can be part of this great project called the Caliphate.'”

He describes one particularly powerful video made by such a young woman, the Belgian Laura Passoni, after she had gone to the Islamic State and managed to return. “This white girl, she’s in love with this guy, she breaks up with him, she’s on the rebound. She hooks up with this one guy and they go on a cruise and they end up in ISIS territory. This is what they do.”

Recruiters also monitor chat rooms. “They see who makes these comments, then they go on and talk to them. It’s the same as child sex predators,” he says. “Exactly the same.”

And because women suffering a broken heart or looking for romance are especially vulnerable, male recruiters often infiltrate dating sites, luring women with promises of the exquisite jewelry they will receive from the handsome husbands they will meet when they arrive at the Caliphate. Passoni’s seducer, for instance, tempted her with visions of a life in a luxurious villa and the horses she would own. “He sold me a dream I would have everything I wanted in Syria,” she recalls in the video.

But it isn’t just women, of course. A young non-Muslim man might marry a Muslim girl and be recruited through the community, as was the case with Omar Shafik Hammami, an American born to an Irish-American mother and Muslim father and was raised Southern Baptist. He converted in college, moved to Canada and married a Somali immigrant before traveling to Somalia to join in the jihad there.

“I actually saw him in a Somali mosque [in Toronto],” Shaikh recalls. “I thought, ‘who is that white guy?’ He had married into the community and then got dragged into Al Shabaab. That’s how it works. They get into the network and the network drags them into something else. So it’s not just Twitter,” he adds, referring to the frequently-cited concern about Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites where recruiting takes place. “It could be wherever.”

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands. Follow her at @radicalstates

Also see:

FBI Sting Nets Two Chicago Area ISIS Supporters

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Apr 13, 2017

Two Chicago area men face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of providing material support to ISIS Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti, both 35, were arrested Wednesday morning. They tried to provided ISIS cellphones and personnel, an FBI affidavit alleges.

The supplies were given instead to an FBI informant. Jones, aka “Yusuf Abdulhaqq,” and Schimenti, aka “Abdul Wali,” thought the phones would be used to detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Jones told an undercover FBI employee he declared his allegiance – or bayah – to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

They also worked to help the informant travel overseas to fight for ISIS and encouraged him to get into fighting shape, the affidavit said. Jones and Schimenti told the informant to be careful and avoid law enforcement detection.

The sting began in September 2015, when Jones met an undercover FBI employee. The meeting took place inside the Zion Police Department, where Jones was being interviewed about a friend’s recent murder. Both Jones and Schimenti expressed support when the undercover later said he wanted to join ISIS.

Other undercover agents tricked Jones and Schimenti into thinking their new friend did make it to Syria.

A year ago, Jones and Schimenti posed for pictures holding an ISIS flag at the entrance to the Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Ill. Jones sent the picture to another undercover FBI agent with whom he communicated online. ISIS supporters also posted the image after a fourth undercover FBI employee asked Jones’ permission to share it via social media.

Jones also made numerous statements endorsing violent jihad on his Google+ account under the name “Yusuf Abdulahad,” the complaint said. Among other things, Jones called moderate Muslims “weak minded material loving sellouts.” He also called jihad the “best deed” and praised martyrdom.

Schimenti made similar posts using the Google + account “Ed Schimenti.” “Kuffar [unbelievers], we are coming to slay you,” Schimenti wrote in an April 2015 post.

In February, Schimenti and Jones met the informant for a workout at a Zion gym. When the informant said the workout would help prepare for fighting, Schimenti responded, “Right, right, right…it’s about that strength and that endurance.”

Jones and Schimenti worked with the informant last month to collect cellphones.  They believed the phones would be sent to ISIS and used as bomb detonators.  Last week, the two drove the informant to O’Hare Airport, thinking he was traveling to Syria to fight for ISIS.

Jones said he was ashamed not to be going, too. Schimenti said he wanted the informant to “drench that land with they, they blood.”

Warfare goes digital in the 21st century

Cyber Warfare Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Washington Times, b, March 29, 2017:

Russia’s intelligence service hacks Democratic Party computer networks and puts out stolen emails in a bid to influence the 2016 election. China says it owns 90 percent of the South China Sea and begins building military bases under a vague historical claim to the strategic waterway. Iranian hackers break into American banks and a water control computer network at an upstate New York dam. Welcome to the new form of conflict in the 21st century: information warfare.

American adversaries have found asymmetric ways to attack and are waging sophisticated information warfare operations — both technical cyber-attacks and soft power influence and disinformation campaigns designed to achieve strategic objectives.

The U.S. government remains completely ignorant of the threat and lacks ways to deal with this new form of warfare. The Cold War-era U.S. Information Agency (USIA), the last semi-autonomous agency used for promoting America was disbanded in 1999. Its functions were folded into the State Department and the result has been diplomacy-impaired information programs.

The government also remains stuck with the 20th century role of “telling America’s story” while adversaries are spending billions on cable propaganda and other outlets are seek discredit and denigrate the United States.

There also are no effective institutions for countering lies and deception by foreign states. When pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine’s Donbass region in 2014 launched a Russian Buk surface-to-air missile against a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet, killing all 283 people on board, Russia’s extensive propaganda Wurlitzer swung into action. RT, the state-run cable propaganda outlet successfully muted criticism of Russia by putting out sophisticated misinformation. The Russian narrative argued the jetliner was downed by a Ukrainian surface-to-air missile or by air-to-air cannon fire. Moscow even supplied forged satellite imagery found to have been taken from a video game to bolster its false claim that an air-to-air missile took down the jet.

The disinformation sowed confusion and doubt in the West. To date, Moscow has paid no price for its role in the crime.

For the past eight years under President Obama, the U.S. government largely ignored these new and increasingly sophisticated information warfare threats. The Obama administration’s operating assumption was that in the cosmopolitan world, nation-state enemies don’t really exist. The only real foes are the extremist terror groups like the Islamic State.

Yet the entire U.S.-led conflict against terror groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State has relied heavily on kinetic military and intelligence strikes while farming out to questionable Middle East states the ideological counter-ideological warfare programs designed to discredit the Islamist political narrative motivating terrorists’ campaigns of suicide bombings, beheadings, sex slavery and other atrocities.

“Cyberwarfare and influence campaigns that are being waged against our country represent a national security challenge of generational proportions,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats. “Our core values of truth, democratic principles, and self-determination are under assault,” Ms. Stefanik said at hearing on information warfare earlier this month.

Experts at the hearing testified that the U.S. government lacks an understanding of the threat posed by foreign information warfare, and also has no strategy for countering it.

“Continuing to get this wrong is a threat to our national security, to our economic growth and to our very standing as a world leader,” said Matthew Armstrong, a former official involved in government radio broadcasting and associate fellow in King’s College Center for Strategic Communications.

Mr. Armstrong said he was told by a Russian information official that state-run RT broadcasts would have no audience in the United States “if the American media was doing their jobs.”

The failure of America’s news media in this sphere stems of the Balkanization of news outlets. Coverage by mainstream press outlets today is biased by three central liberal narratives of gender identity, racial issues and climate change, while the conservative media outlets are heavily weighted toward opinion and lack a needed hard news focus.

By contrast, authoritarian regimes suffer no similar fate. They are focused laserlike on promoting propaganda narratives to support strategic goals. For China, it is managing Beijing’s perceived decline of the U.S. superpower. Stealing 22 million records from the Office of Personnel Management supports a covert Big Data program to target the United States for both espionage and influence activities.

For Russia, America remains the main target of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s vision of pursuing a pan-Eurasian Russian power that is embattled on all sides by a U.S.-led liberal democratic international cabal.

North Korea’s 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment over the ribald film “The Interview” aimed at attacking the film industry and choking off American freedom of expression by threatening with terror attacks movie theaters that showed the film. Meanwhile, Pyongyang was given free rein to develop nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems unimpeded — to perpetuate its crimes-against-humanity regime with a growing arsenal of nuclear missiles.

Iran’s information operations are designed to further the strategic goals of the Islamist regime, the world’s deadliest state sponsor of global terrorism, as Tehran works to emerge from the chaos of the Middle East as the dominant regional power.

Social media have emerged as another platform in the forefront of information warfare as terrorists use Twitter, Facebook and other outlets to recruit terrorists and spread propaganda.

These foreign information warfare programs are growing in both scale and sophistication while American public diplomacy and counter-disinformation efforts remain minuscule.

The Trump administration urgently needs to recreate a new USIA for the digital age, something I call “Information America.”

This new institution can be established as a government entity similar to the USIA, or a nongovernmental organization funded by philanthropists. A third option would be set up Information America as hybrid government/private-sector organization.

Its mission should be to use truth and facts to counter lies and disinformation. Information America also must begin anew to promote fundamental American ideals and values.

Outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper agreed on the need for a new information entity, something he recently called “a USIA on steroids to fight this information war a lot more aggressively than I think we’re doing right now.”

The first step should be setting up a blue-ribbon panel of information experts — government officials, journalists and others — to quickly formulate a plan for Information America.

The task is urgent in a world filled with violence and hatred. Effective information-based capabilities should become a top priority of the new Trump administration. These programs offer the promise of solving some of the world’s most pressing problems through the use of information as a strategic tool to promote peace and freedom.

• Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and author of “iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age” (Threshold Editions, 2017).

Also see:

Flynn’s plan to beat radical Islam starts with schools and social media

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, February 4, 2017:

President Trump’s national security adviser wants to fight not just Islamic terrorists but the “radical ideology of Islam,” and he plans to do it from the grass roots up, starting with our children at schools while also using social media.

Dealing with the global Islamist threat on a tactical level through drone strikes and arrests hasn’t worked, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn argues, according to his largely overlooked 2016 book, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.” He wants to combat it more broadly, using informational warfare, among other things, on a scale not seen since World War II.

But first, he writes, the government has to overcome the political taboo of tying Islamic violence to the religion of Islam, including its sacred texts, which he says the enemy is using as a manual of warfare.

Last week, Trump asked Flynn to work with the Pentagon and other security agencies to draft a comprehensive plan to not only defeat ISIS on the battlefield but “delegitimize its radical Islamist ideology,” and have it on his desk by the end of this month.

Advance details of the plan can be gleaned from Flynn’s book. In it, the 33-year Army veteran proposes discrediting the “evil (religious) doctrines” motivating jihadists — namely the Islamic rewards for martyrdom (or suicidal terrorism) and the totalitarian tenets of Sharia law — using psy-ops and counter-propaganda, not just through federal government channels but also through “our schools, media and social networks.”

“If we can’t tackle enemy doctrines that call for our domination or extinction,” Flynn writes, “we aren’t going to destroy their jihadis.”

He says in the book that the government may have to draft digital media giants to help “wage ideological warfare” against radical Islam: “We can’t possibly have an effective campaign against Radical Islamic ideology without the cooperation of the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.”

He also wants to use radio and TV to conduct psychological warfare.

“It’s long past time for us to denounce the many evils of Radical Islam,” he writes, while highlighting the many defeats of ISIS and al Qaeda to show potential recruits that “the Almighty has changed sides in the holy war.”

Fired by former President Barack Obama from the Defense Intelligence Agency for taking such stands, Flynn vows to reverse the longstanding government practice of whitewashing the violent nature of the enemy’s faith through pleasant platitudes like, “The terrorists are hijacking a religion of peace” and other apologia. He calls such policies “Islamophilia,” and complains they border on appeasement.

“I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed,” he writes.

In his book, Flynn says the Islamist enemy studies our culture “very carefully” and excels at “identifying our weaknesses,” while we, on the other hand, have done very little to exploit weak points in their ideology. We suffer pangs of guilt just “calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization.”

That “failed civilization,” he notes, is Islam, and he says the government must publicly point out its failures, from depressed economies to high illiteracy rates to oppression of women, while supporting “a complete reformation of the Islamic religion” throughout the Muslim world.

He suggests working closely with the president of Egypt, who has called for a renewal of Islam. He also praises reforms pushed by Singapore to convince Muslims that there’s no requirement to follow Sharia in a secular state and that Allah hasn’t blessed jihad against the West. He also cites the half dozen countries that have banned Islamic headscarves around the world.

“We’ve got to get inside the minds of the jihadis” and understand the doctrinal justification for “the cult of killing, the worship of death” and why they, literally, “eagerly drink the blood of their dying enemies,” Flynn writes. What in their scripture brainwashes them into thinking, “We love death more than you love life?” Once that doctrine is exposed, it can be undermined to the point where it loses its potency.

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

“People need to recognize the strategic power of words and pictures,” Flynn writes. “Ideas, and the words that express them, are very much a part of war, but we have deliberately deprived ourselves of using them.”

He proposes using a modern psy-ops unit to wage psychological warfare against radical Islam — not just abroad but at home, in the American Muslim community.

“The war against Radical Islamists must begin at home,” he writes. “Muslims want to apply Sharia law by using our own legal system to strengthen what many believe to be a violent religious law that has no place in the United States,” he writes, adding the government must stop implying Islamic and Western civilizations “are morally equivalent.”

“Let us accept what we were founded upon: a Judeo-Christian ideology built on a moral set of rules and laws,” he writes. “Let us not fear, but instead fight those who want to impose Sharia law and their Radical Islamist views.”

The West overcame the fascist ideology of the Nazis and Imperial Japanese with ruthlessly effective counter-propaganda. Likewise, defeating the jihadists will require discrediting the Islamofascist ideology that catalyzes them.

“There has to be an entirely new strategy,” Flynn insists, “because nothing we are doing seems to be a winning strategy” after 15 years of war.

“We can’t win this war by treating Radical Islamic terrorists as a handful of crazies and dealing with them as a policing issue,” he writes. “The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

Sperry is editor of CounterJihad.com and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”