Stochastic Terrorism

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Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:22 pm

The Rising Danger of Stochastic Terrorism: It takes a master demagogue to weaponize unstable individuals and aim them at political enemies.
by Wired
January 21, 2019

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Stochastic Terrorism: N. Acts of violence by random extremists, triggered by political demagoguery.


When President Trump tweeted a video of himself body-slamming the CNN logo in 2017, most ­people took it as a stupid joke. For Cesar Sayoc, it may have been a call to arms: Last October the avowed Trump fan allegedly mailed a pipe bomb to CNN headquarters.

No one told Sayoc to do it, but the fact that it happened was really no surprise. In 2011, after the shooting of US representative Gabby Giffords, a Daily Kos blog warned of a new threat the writer called stochastic terrorism: the use of mass media to incite attacks by random nut jobs—acts that are “statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.” The writer had in mind right-wing radio and TV agitators, but in 2016, Rolling Stone accused then-candidate Trump of using the same playbook when he joked that “Second Amendment people” might “do” something if Hillary Clinton won the election.

Of course, Trump’s people later said he meant they might … “vote.” That’s how it works: Stochastic terrorism lets bullies operate in the open with full deniability, since the random element erases any provable causation.

Tellingly, the word stochastic comes from the Greek stochastikos, meaning “proceeding by guesswork” and “skillful in aiming.” Both are apt here. It takes a master demagogue to weaponize unstable individuals and aim them at political enemies.
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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:22 pm

National Security Experts Warn Trump “Is Promoting Terrorism”: The president’s post-election incitement expands on a tactic he has long used: stochastic terrorism.
by Mark Follman
National Affairs Editor
Mother Jones
December 17, 2020

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A person in a gas mask protests Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic policies at the Michigan State Capitol in May 2020Paul Sancya/AP

In the waning days of his presidency, Donald Trump is engaged in a deliberate campaign of terrorism aimed at Americans who oppose him politically. That description of his actions is neither a metaphor nor hyperbole—it is the assessment of veteran national security experts, whose view of the political violence being stoked by the outgoing president is echoed by law enforcement and political leaders. As Trump has pushed a litany of lies and conspiracy theories claiming that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him through “massive fraud,” he has stirred his most extreme supporters to menace public officials, election workers, and his Democratic and Republican critics alike. Over the past four years, numerous perpetrators of threats and violence have directly invoked the president and his rhetoric, and recent gatherings by far-right groups in support of Trump’s efforts to reverse his election defeat have led to beatings, stabbings and a shooting.

Trump is using a tactic known as “stochastic terrorism,” says Juliette Kayyem, a national security expert and former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. It’s a method of political incitement that provokes random acts of extremist violence, in which the instigator uses rhetoric ambiguous enough to give himself and his allies plausible deniability for any resulting bloodshed. Violent threats or attacks linked to the rhetoric usually generate muted denials and equivocal denunciations, or claims to have been “joking,” as Trump and those speaking on his behalf have routinely hidden behind.

Previously discussed in obscurity among counterterrorism specialists and national security wonks, the concept of stochastic terrorism first drew wider attention in 2018 when Kayyem cited it in reference to Cesar Sayoc, a fervent Trump supporter who sent mail bombs to CNN and nearly a dozen Democratic figures, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. Since then—and particularly since Trump’s defeat in November—the president’s willingness to encourage violence for political purposes has become only more evident, according to Kayyem. She says Trump’s behavior should be called out for what it is: “He is promoting terrorism.”


Among national security experts, Kayyem is not alone in this view. “It really matters that the president of the United States is an arsonist of radicalization,” said Kori Schake, who served in leadership posts at the National Security Council and State Department under President George W. Bush. “It will really help when that’s no longer the case,” she added, speaking in a recent online panel discussion about the danger fueled by Trump and his enablers.

“We are stuck parsing Trump’s words…Meanwhile his supporters know EXACTLY what he means.”


Elizabeth Neumann, who until early 2020 served as a DHS assistant secretary focused on counterterrorism and threat prevention, asserted in a Washington Post op-ed before the election that the president has been fomenting violence. “Language from campaign materials and Trump’s extemporaneous speeches at rallies have been used as justification for acts of violence,” she wrote, emphasizing that Trump “has repeatedly been confronted with this fact.” His “inconsistent and muddied” denouncements of violence and white supremacists, she said, only exacerbated the problem: “Extremists thrive on this mixed messaging, interpreting it as coded support.”

Trump has long pursued a campaign of incitement with impunity, unchallenged by Republican leaders in Congress and met with tepid press coverage. “Until recently mainstream media were unwilling to say explicitly that Trump was lying,” Kayyem notes. “In the same way, there is a reluctance to identify the kind of violence that Trump is propagating, maybe because it seems too close to calling him a terrorist. You can call him whatever you want, but the tactics he’s using are clearly a form of terrorism.”

Trump’s nods and winks to far-right extremists began with his 2016 campaign and came to a head in August 2017 when he suggested that the torch-wielding white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, included some “very fine people.” His demagoguery as president was initially focused on “the other,” whether it was his attempt to ban Muslims from entering the United States or his incendiary rhetoric about Mexican “rapists,” migrant caravans, and “shithole” countries. He also attacked the news media as “the enemy of the people,” sparking violent threats and plots against journalists. “What’s happened now is that he has clearly turned it against Americans,” Kayyem says. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is focused on American political leadership that is not behind him.”

The danger escalated in the spring when Trump urged supporters to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” in response to public health restrictions ordered by the state’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, for battling the coronavirus pandemic. Trump targeted the governors of Virginia and Minnesota with the same message and sided with armed protesters in Michigan while tweeting criticism of Whitmer: “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely!” By early October, the FBI and state authorities announced they had arrested 13 people plotting violent attacks in Michigan and elsewhere, including plans to storm the Capitol and kidnap and execute Whitmer. Far-right extremists also allegedly targeted Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, whom Trump had blasted as “crazy” for his pandemic policies and for supposedly planning to take away Virginians’ guns. When pressed in a fall presidential debate to denounce the violent far-right group known as the Proud Boys, Trump infamously responded that they should “stand back and stand by.”

Trump’s post-election incitement has manifested in new and alarming ways. By early December, after the president unleashed a wave of false claims attacking the election results in battleground states including Michigan, a group of armed Trump supporters gathered outside the home of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as she and her young son were putting up Christmas decorations. They chanted “Stop the steal” and shouted “You’re a felon and must turn yourself in immediately.” Less prominent officials and election workers around the country have been harassed for doing their jobs processing votes, menaced with nooses and death threats, and stalked online or at their homes. On December 14, state electors faced with “credible threats” in Michigan and Arizona were compelled to take extraordinary security measures—including locking down buildings and meeting at an undisclosed location—as they convened to certify Biden’s presidential victory.

Kayyem reiterated in a series of tweets how Trump had perfected the technique of provoking random but predictable violence. “We are stuck parsing Trump’s words, forced into textualist debates about what he meant by ‘Liberate Michigan’ or ‘Stand Back and Stand By,'” she wrote. “Meanwhile his supporters know EXACTLY what he means.”

“The level of concern is about as high as I’ve ever seen it,” a senior federal law enforcement official told me in early December.
“Threatening activity based in this kind of rhetoric or anger is always there, but that said, it has been a very active year and it’s kept us and our [state and local] counterparts very busy.” The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to offer any specific assessment of the president’s role in provoking violence, but acknowledged in broader terms that the post-election conspiracy mongering led by Trump “is undoubtedly big fuel on the fire.”

“This is a really dangerous and cynical attempt to whip up a base for what comes next.”


The president’s tactics have been imitated by his operatives and political allies. Recent comments from Trump campaign lawyer Joseph DiGenova were a textbook example: After the president fired DHS cybersecurity director Chris Krebs, who had described the 2020 elections as the most secure in history, DiGenova said in an interview that Krebs should be “taken out at dawn and shot.” DiGenova later claimed his comments “were sarcastic and made in jest.” As electors in Arizona prepared to certify Biden’s win, state Sen.-elect Wendy Rogers, a backer of Trump’s false claims about the election, tweeted: “Buy more ammo.” When Arizona Democrats criticized Rogers for using incendiary language on such a consequential day, she tweeted repeatedly that she was simply cheerleading for Second Amendment rights. “She knows exactly what she’s doing & wants plausible deniability,” responded Rep. Jennifer Longdon, an assistant Democratic leader in the Arizona House. Longdon’s tweet described Rogers’ own as a “clarion call to lone wolf extremists.”

Longdon, a gun violence survivor, knows well the danger of fringe actors who go on the attack over a political cause, including those who threatened, stalked, and assaulted her over her work on gun safety. Trump’s allies, she says, “have ramped this up to a level that’s beyond irresponsible.” If violence follows, Rogers and others “will just shrug their shoulders and walk away from it. But someone is hearing that call, and that call is coming from someone they consider to be a responsible voice of leadership.” Longdon added that the targeting of conservative Republican state officeholders who deemed Arizona’s election results fair and credible was telling. “This is a really dangerous and cynical attempt to whip up a base for what comes next,” she says. “At what point does this become sedition?”


Both Kayyem and the federal law enforcement official I spoke with suggested that recent commentary about the possibility of a brewing “civil war” has been overblown. They said that fringe elements who would act violently remain small in number. Kayyem also sees the coming change at the White House as pivotal. “We’ve gotten pretty immune to the sort of everyday racism of the current president and how he has nurtured it from the top,” she says. “But I think Biden will be able in his way to shame that, and a lot of it will start to go away. There will still be a threat of violence, but it’s not existential. I think we’ll see that when nonracists control the levers of law enforcement and communications, that these fringe groups will find themselves adrift and more isolated again.”
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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:25 pm

Trump sends provocative ‘who shot Ashli Babbitt?’ email after conservative report ties officer who killed rioter to Pence: Trump statement may have been inspired by a The Spectator magazine accusing Mike Pence’s security team
by Nathan Place
UK Independent
July 2, 2021

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Former president Donald Trump has come under fire for a brief but provocative email asking for the identity of the Capitol police officer who shot and killed a rioter during the 6 January insurrection.

Mr Trump sent an email to supporters on Thursday with just four words: “Who shot Ashli Babbitt?”

Ms Babbitt, a military veteran who took part in the Capitol riot while Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory, was killed as a group of rioters closed in on the House chamber. She has become a cause célèbre among conservatives who have attempted to paint her as a patriotic martyr.

In reality, the Capitol Police officer who shot Mr Babbitt has been identified by federal prosecutors and cleared of wrongdoing. Lawyers for the officer chose not to reveal his name because he has faced death threats.

Mr Trump may have been inspired by the conservative British magazine The Spectator, which reported earlier this week that the officer who shot Ms Babbitt may have been someone on former Vice President Mike Pence’s security team.

“Sources close to and within the intelligence community tell [the reporter] that Babbitt was actually shot by a member of then-vice president Mike Pence’s protective detail,” the publication alleged.

Who killed Ashli Babbitt? A new theory emerges
by Cockburn (Mischief, mayhem and Washington gossip. Send tips to cockburn@spectator.us)
June 30, 2021 | 4:09 pm

Who shot Ashli Babbitt, the pro-Trump Air Force veteran who was killed by police during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol building? The American people were told that it was a Capitol Police officer who fired the fatal shot. But Cockburn has stumbled across some information that points to a different explanation.

Sources close to and within the intelligence community tell Cockburn that Babbitt was actually shot by a member of then-vice president Mike Pence’s protective detail. The VP’s detail, of course, is provided by US Secret Service, not the Capitol Police. One person asserted to Cockburn over drinks in DC that this is ‘basically an open secret’ in the intelligence community.

Law enforcement sources suggested to Cockburn that the Capitol Police Department and Department of Justice have publicly identified the shooter as a Capitol Police officer in order to protect the reputation of the Secret Service. Cockburn also wonders if this isn’t an attempt to protect Pence from further anger or threats from Capitol rioters who wanted him to refuse to certify the results of the election on January 6.

A cover-up of this nature would also explain why the government hasn’t been forthcoming with other information about the alleged Capitol Police officer who they say shot Babbitt. Police officers who are involved in shootings are almost always identified publicly. The unnamed officer’s lawyer says that his client is being kept anonymous due to threats against his life. Babbitt’s family, however, argues that they have a right to know who shot and killed their beloved relative. Her husband, Aaron Babbitt, is suing Washington DC for access to records that would supposedly reveal the name of the officer.

Michael Brendan Dougherty floated the idea that Babbitt was shot by Secret Service on his Twitter account in early June, writing in response to Aaron Babbitt’s lawsuit, ‘I mean, at this point you have to suspect that it’s not a Capitol cop.’ He replied ‘SS’ when asked who he thought could have been responsible instead.

The video of Babbitt being shot as she attempts to climb through a broken window that leads to the Speaker’s Gallery shows a man in a suit jacket holding the gun. The Capitol Police do have plainclothes officers, but it is much more common for the Secret Service’s protective details to be spotted in suits while tailing the president or vice president.

There have been many other theories as to who may have shot Babbitt. Some on social media posited it could be Special Agent David Bailey, the Capitol Police officer who took down the Bernie Sanders supporter that opened fire on a Republican baseball practice. However, the Capitol Police issued a statement in February denying that theory:

‘As the investigation continues into the events of January 6, 2021, it’s important to correct misinformation some in the media have reported, and that’s been shared on social media. Reports identifying Special Agent David Bailey as the officer involved in the shooting in the Speaker’s Lobby are inaccurate. The Department will share additional information once the investigation is complete.’

Cockburn reached out to Pence’s team for comment and was redirected to the US Secret Service. The Secret Service had a full 24 hours to give comment. They did not respond.

UPDATE (7/1/2021 6:15 p.m. ET):

The Secret Service finally responded to Cockburn’s inquiry more than a full day after publication of this piece. A spokesperson did not issue either a confirmation nor a denial of Cockburn’s conversations with his sources. Instead, Cockburn was directed to again read the Department of Justice press release from April in which the DoJ announces it will not file any charges against the ‘U.S. Capitol Police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt.’


Mr Pence was inside the Capitol when the riot began, presiding over the certification of the election results in a ceremonial role. After the mob breached the building, security rushed him out of the Senate chamber.

Mr Trump’s email appears to be an attempt to further stir up the controversy. Commentators from across the political spectrum condemned the provocation.

“So Donald Trump now asks: ‘Who shot Ashli Babbitt?’” conservative pundit Bill Kristol responded. “Look in the mirror. It is you who are in large measure responsible for her death. She was in DC because of you. She stormed the Capitol because of you. She is not alive now because of you.”

Democratic activist Chris Hahn had the same reaction.

“Donald Trump only needs to look in the mirror if he wants to know who killed Ashli Babbitt,” he tweeted.

Bill Kristol
@BillKristol
So Donald Trump now asks: “Who shot Ashli Babbitt?”
The answer: Have you no shame? Look in the mirror. It is you who are in large measure responsible for her death. She was in D.C. because of you. She stormed the Capitol because of you. She is not alive now because of you.
2:16 PM Jul 1, 2021


Joe Walsh
@WalshFreedom
So Donald Trump wants to know who’s responsible for the death of Ashli Babbitt?
HE is.
3:49 PM Jul 1, 2021


Vox reporter Aaron Rupar objected for another reason, taking aim at the underlying assumption of the question.

“The subtext of this Ashli Babbitt conspiracy theory is that the officer was somehow in the wrong for shooting someone who was trying to break through the last barricade preventing the Trump mob of which she was a part from attacking members of Congress,” he wrote.

A former New York City police commissioner, however, did not agree that this assumption was wrong.

“An unarmed young woman was shot at point-blank range and killed for trespassing,” Bernie Kerik tweeted. “Any cop in this country they did that anywhere else would already be in prison.”

It should be noted that although Ms Babbitt was reportedly unarmed, many in the mob did have weapons, including chemical sprays, spears, bats, stun guns, and fire extinguishers. By the time Ms Babbitt tried to crawl through a shattered window into the House chamber, Capitol Police had been warned the intruders were armed.

Former GOP congressman Joe Walsh, who unsuccessfully challenged Mr Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020, denounced the former president’s email.

“So Donald Trump wants to know who’s responsible for the death of Ashli Babbitt?” Mr Walsh tweeted. “HE is.”

The Independent has reached out to representatives for Mr Trump and Mr Pence for comment, but has not heard back yet.
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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:35 pm

Donald Trump implies the Vice President's Security detail might have killed Ashli Babbitt
by The Young Turks
Jul 1, 2021

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[Cenk Uygur] By the way, today Donald Trump implied the Vice President's Security detail might have killed Ashli Babbitt. She was one of the people who participated in the riot and got shot by the police, by the Security. So he's implying that Pence's team did it, thereby putting Pence's team, and Pence himself, in literal mortal danger. They were looking to hang Mike Pence then, he's now baselessly claiming that it might have been Pence's team that killed one of the Trump supporters that broke into the Capitol. And now, all of those people who brought the nooses, and wanted to murder Mike Pence, are going to think, "Yeah, it was Pence! And he killed one of ours! And we've got to strike back!"

[Ana Kasparian] She was climbing through a broken window of a door to get into the area that members of Congress were running away from!

[Cenk Uygur] If they had broken through that last Security, they would have gotten to the members of Congress, as they were chanting about hanging people, okay? And meanwhile, if a Black guy even so much as looks in the wrong direction, the cops will shoot and kill him, and the Right Wing will say, "Of course! He had to! Come on! That cell phone could have been a thing!"

[Ana Kasparian] They justify Black people running away from the cops and getting shot in the back!

[Cenk Uygur] Yeah, but wait, there are people saying they are going to murder Congress people, and they broke into the final barrier, but, "Oh, no, no! That's terrible! I can't believe the cops would overstep like that! And let's go hang MIke Pence!"

So, I'm serious, they should double Mike Pence's security detail. This is insane! That the person whose life is in greatest danger because of Trump's fascism is his former Vice-President. It's total insanity!

At 8:40 minutes:

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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Fri Jul 09, 2021 4:38 am

Stochastic terrorism: There is nothing funny about Mike Pompeo's violent PAC recruitment ads
The PAC from the former secretary of state launches with a violent call to arms, recruiting "pipehitters" to join

by Chauncey Devega
PUBLISHED JUNE 18, 2021 5:50AM (EDT)

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Image
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

America feels like it's stuck in a version of Bill Murray's classic 1993 film "Groundhog Day," in which Murray's character is forever stuck reliving the same day.

But this real-life version of "Groundhog Day" is not a comedy — it is a dystopian horror movie.

Trump and his lackeys continue to show the American people and the world in an obvious, explicit way exactly who and what they are: neofascist authoritarians who support terrorism and other acts of violence to obtain and keep political power.

This anti-democracy behavior will continue because Trump and his followers have not been punished, nor suffered any negative consequences for their behavior.

Here's the most recent example.

On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo — 2024 Republican presidential hopeful, former secretary of state and CIA director for the Trump regime — announced the formation of his own political action committee called "CAVPAC".

He explains its mission as:

We named the organization CAVPAC as a nod to my time in the U.S. Army Cavalry – the CAV in the PAC. My cavalry service taught me that America needs warriors who lead and are willing to ride first into the fight without fear. CAV also stands for Champion American Values – the values that we know have made our country exceptional. The focus, the fight and the desire to win will be at the center of my work leading CAVPAC and those who join alongside us. We will support leaders of character and integrity who are wholly committed to these same values and will work without fear to build our future. Our mission is clear: take back the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, as well as build conservative state legislatures and governorships across the country. Concurrently, we will advocate together for these values in every space of American life. I ask that you join with me in the good and worthy fight to champion American values.


In conjunction with the announcement of his new PAC, Pompeo began sending out a series of tweets recruiting "pipehitters" to join his organization.

These tweets included these lines:

• "We need more Pipehitters to answer the call and defend our values. Are you with me?"
• "During our administration, we NEVER let anyone stand in our way of putting America first. If you're a Pipehitter like us, join the team."
• "One of the best CIA officers I worked with was a former special operator. When I'd ask him about someone, if they were top-notch, he'd say, 'love that guy. Pipehitter.' He meant that person got stuff done & was dedicated to the mission. All of us need to be Pipehitters".
• "Being a Pipehitter means getting stuff done and NEVER giving an inch. If you think you're a Pipehitter, join the @CAV_PAC Calvary [sic] now".

The website for Pompeo's new PAC also includes this call to action for its so-called "pipehitters":

Become a Pipehitter - someone who is unapologetically American, someone who fights for our future, someone who never gives an inch, someone who is dedicated to stand against the radical Left's agenda.

In your everyday lives, stand up for our future: at the PTA meeting, in your workplace, at the bowling alley. Be confident in reminding others of our vision. If you aren't comfortable with what you're seeing or hearing — no doubt others are feeling the same way. If you've witnessed attempts at systemic changes to the Left — or found a way to constructively resist those changes, write or send a video to Mike (to the left). Together, we'll sound the alarm.

Mike looks forward to hearing from you today. Join him as a Pipehitter in the Cavalry and be at the front of the battle to Champion American Values.


Beyond Pompeo's vague definition, what is a "pipehitter?"

In military slang, a "pipehitter" is a member of a special operations unit such as the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Green Berets, or other elite forces.

The word "pipehitter" can also be used to describe a mafia enforcer or a street thug who is feared because of their prowess with and enthusiasm for violence.

"Pipehitter" has also been used to describe strikebreakers and other company enforcers who attacked union members and labor organizers in the 19th and 20th centuries in America and elsewhere.

Pompeo faced immediate criticism for the name of his new organization and his attempt to recruit "pipehitters."

But whichever definition of "pipehitters" suits Pompeo's new organization, such violent rhetoric hastens the normalization of political violence by today's Republican Party and the neofascist Trump movement.

The mission statement for Pompeo's new PAC signals to a right-wing fantasy world, where (white) "patriots" and "real Americans" are under siege and "victimized" in "their own country" by "evil" and "traitorous" "liberals." These "real American" "patriots" should be prepared to use violence to "defend" themselves and their communities, Pompeo hints.

This fascist aesthetic and political logic is antithetical to normal politics and democracy; such rhetoric implies that violence is an acceptable means of resolving political disagreements.

In normal times, Pompeo's PAC would just be one more (still dangerous) example of how American culture – especially on the right – fetishizes the military while celebrating a lazy, empty understanding of "patriotism."

But in America in the Age of Trump, Pompeo's PAC and its embrace of "pipehitters" reflects a much larger trend.

Donald Trump, his Republican Party and larger neofascist movement attempted a violent and lethal coup on January 6. The Big Lie, that the election was "stolen" from Donald Trump, continues to hold power over a majority of Republican voters. Moreover, more than 50 percent of Republicans actually believe that Donald Trump is still president, according to polling data. The Republican Party and its leaders refuse to properly investigate the coup. Why? Because they are implicated in it, and support using violence (including another coup attempt) to overthrow Democratic presidents and other elected leaders on the local, state, and national level.

For several decades, the right-wing disinformation news media — anchored by Fox News — has been using a technique known as "stochastic terrorism" to encourage violence against Democrats, liberals, progressives, Muslims, non-white people and other targeted groups.

Public opinion and other research repeatedly show that white Republican voters, Trumpists, and other right-wing voters increasingly support the use of political violence to "save" their "traditional way of life".

New research from the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism also shows that white middle and upper class suburban Republican voters are also being increasingly radicalized into political violence because of a fear that they are being "replaced" by nonwhite people.

Law enforcement and other national security leaders and experts continue to warn that right-wing political violence represents the greatest threat to America's domestic safety and security.

In a new article in the Washington Monthly, Daniel Block details how right-wing extremism, polarization, and attacks on democracy more generally may push American society into a civil war or insurgency. In it, he notes:

Does America have enough extremists to sustain an insurgency? [...] Research suggests that tens of millions of Americans view political violence as acceptable. This doesn't mean that tens of millions of people are willing to commit violence themselves. But they don't need to be. According to The New York Times, between 15,000 and 20,000 Americans belong to militias. If there's at least tacit outside backing, that's more than enough potential actors. "These groups are in the hundreds, and membership is in the five digits," says Linda Robinson, a longtime foreign correspondent covering the Middle East and the director of the center for Middle East public policy at the RAND Corporation. "This puts it up at a parallel with some of the more significant armed insurgencies in other countries that many of us have spent years studying."


Block details the members of the right-wing "militia scene," ranging from the Three Percenters to the Oath Keepers to the Boogaloo Boys. Yet the right-wing militias in America are "diverse and chaotic," Block writes. "Without a clear hierarchy and leadership, America's militias would find it impossible to wage organized warfare against the federal government," he says. "That is part of why a redux of the 1860s is currently unlikely."

"But international experience suggests that disorganization among insurgents is no impediment to sustained violent activity," he continues. "Indeed, for many states struggling with serious civil conflict, diffuse terrorist networks are the norm."

That is troubling, and doesn't bode well for the future of the republic. Indeed, leading academics and other experts warn that US democracy is experiencing an existential crisis. That crisis was triggered by Trump and the GOP's assault on voting and civil rights, as well as on the rule of law, long-standing political norms, and governing institutions.

How did the public respond to Pompeo's new PAC and his attempts to recruit some "pipehitters" for his cause?

Online and elsewhere, there was much mockery. Many focused on the word "pipehitter" to make jokes about drugs, Pompeo's intelligence and that of his supporters. Those news websites that chose to cover Pompeo's announcement largely reported on the mockery as opposed to the substance of Pompeo's new PAC, or his rhetoric.

In total, Pompeo and his PAC are not being taken seriously by many in the public or among the chattering class.

As I have repeatedly warned here at Salon, this is all so much hysterical laughter and liberal schadenfreude by people who are in a state of existential terror because of the trauma inflicted on them by the Trump regime. In that way, the laughter is self-soothing, psychological defensive behavior.

Ultimately, laughter will not save the American people or their democracy from the monstrous forces of Trumpism. Why? Because it is a form of surrender and inertia, and not the positive action needed to effectively resist and then defeat American neofascism in its various forms.

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevega.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.
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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:08 am

Trump Called For EXECUTION of His Own Staffer!?!
by The Young Turks
Jul 13, 2021

Donald Trump reportedly called for one of his own staffers, the "bunker boy" leaker, to be executed. Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss on The Young Turks. Watch LIVE weekdays 6-8 pm ET. http://youtube.com/tyt/live

"Former President Donald Trump reportedly demanded the execution, for treason, of whoever told journalists about his seeking refuge in the White House’s underground bunker."

Hosts: Ana Kasparian, Cenk Uygur

Cast: Ana Kasparian, Cenk Uygur

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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:12 am

Trump Made Clear 'Threat' To Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt, Says Ex-FBI Deputy Director
The former president is "threatening law enforcement" like a "mob boss," said Andrew McCabe. "It's just outrageous."

by Mary Papenfuss
HuffPost US
August 14, 2021 02:48 BST

A chilling statement by former President Donald Trump attacking the police officer who fatally shot Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt is obviously a “threat,” warned former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

In an interview on CNN Thursday, McCabe blasted Trump’s comments as “incredibly dangerous.”

“We know this for a fact. This isn’t something we’re theorizing about,” he added, noting the effect Trump’s “words have on his most diehard and emotional supporters.”

Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by his paid aide Liz Harrington on Wednesday that “we know who he is,” referring to the unidentified officer who killed Babbitt.

He added: “The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!”

McCabe noted: “Let’s face it, when he says, ‘We know who you are,’ that’s a threat. That’s the same sort of language that a mob boss or a drug kingpin would use to threaten a subordinate. ... So you have the former president of the United States threatening members of law enforcement. It’s just outrageous.”

Image
Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill on May 11, 2017.

Babbitt was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as she climbed through a smashed window on Jan. 6 while lawmakers were being evacuated in the Capitol riot. A disturbing video of the mob outside the barrier Babbitt breached and Babbitt’s shooting can be seen here.

The officer was cleared of any charges in the death of the 35-year-old Air Force veteran and ardent Trump supporter. A number of lawmakers have hailed the police officer as a hero who saved lives that day.

Former Capitol Police Captain Terrence Gainer also said on CNN that he views Trump’s remarks as a threat to the officer.

“I do believe that officer is at risk, could be at risk, his family could be at risk if his name gets out in the way the [former] president is suggesting,” said Gainer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Trump’s remarks about the officer “disgusting,” “vile” and “wholly unacceptable” on Thursday.

Trump’s chilling comment to his extremist followers comes just as the Department of Homeland Security is warning of an increased potential for violence due to Trump and his supporters’ baseless election fraud claims.

The DHS is seeing an increase in calls for “violence in response to the unsubstantiated claims of fraud related to the 2020 election fraud and the alleged ‘reinstatement’ of former President Trump,” a spokesperson told NBC News this week.

Trump is supposed to be banned from Twitter, but his paid aide posts all of his comments — often even before or if they appear anywhere else — on her Twitter account. Twitter has taken no action against Harrington, even though the company claims to have a policy against threats and against accounts brazenly posting messages from banned users.

Twitter ignored multiple requests from HuffPost to comment. Several Twitter users have reported Harrington’s reposted Trump comments to Twitter as both a threat and an obvious dodge of Twitter’s ban.

Check out McCabe’s full comments in the CNN video clip up top.
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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:20 am

Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests Southerners could 'welcome' Biden's 'police state friends' with guns
"We all love our Second Amendment rights," she said, adding, "They might not like the welcome they get.”

by Rebecca Shabad
NBC News
Aug. 6, 2021, 5:14 AM MST / Updated Aug. 6, 2021, 7:24 AM MST

WASHINGTON — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., suggested at a recent Republican fundraiser in Alabama that Southerners could threaten President Joe Biden's "police state friends" with guns if they show up at their homes asking about their coronavirus vaccination status.

The late-July event in Dothan was closed to the media, but a video clip of some of her comments leaked, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

“You lucky people here in Alabama might get a knock on your door, because I hear Alabama might be one of the most unvaccinated states,” Greene told the crowd, prompting cheers and applause over the state's low vaccination rate. “Well, Joe Biden wants to come talk to you guys. He's going to be sending one of his police state friends to your front door to knock on the door, take down your name, your address, your family members' names, your phone numbers, your cellphone numbers, probably ask for your Social Security number and whether you've taken the vaccine or not.”

She continued: “What they don't know is in the South, we all love our Second Amendment rights, and we're not real big on strangers showing up on our front door, are we? They might not like the welcome they get.”


It wasn't clear whether Greene was referring to the administration's Covid surge response teams or grassroots volunteers encouraging vaccinations. The teams, made up of experts from FEMA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies, aim to help states with low vaccination rates "prevent, detect and respond" to the spread of the delta variant.

NBC reached out to Greene's office for comment on the video and to confirm it showed her at the event. Her spokesman, Nick Dyer, simply replied, "These claims are ridiculous and yet another conspiracy theory from the left," without specifying what claims he meant.

The remarks from Greene, who has compared mask mandates to the Holocaust and was stripped of her committee assignments for promoting various conspiracy theories, mirrored other conservative rhetoric on Biden's plan.

At the event, Greene also denounced Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, referring to a conspiracy theory spread by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and other conservatives that suggests the National Institutes of Health helped fund “gain of function research” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China that morphed into the coronavirus — an accusation that Fauci has said is false.

“That is his baby,” Greene said, referring to Fauci. “That is his experiment, and he's getting to watch it in the real world, like on a live television show where he has a front row seat. He gets to watch what happens.”

In remarks last month, Greene made another Nazi-era comparison regarding the coronavirus response, saying people who knock on doors encouraging vaccinations are “medical brown shirts,” referring to the paramilitary organization that helped facilitate the rise of the Nazis and Hitler.
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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:23 am

Arizona election official reacts to 'check your six' threat from Republican
by Erin Burnett
CNN
Aug 7, 2021

In an interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan, Maricopa County GOP official Bill Gates talks about the threats election officials have received for refusing to push Donald Trump's big election lie and support the baseless Arizona election audit.



[Erin Burnett] "Check your six." That's a message from one Republican Arizona State Senator threatening members of her own party to watch their backs, for refusing to push the Big Lie and support the baseless Arizona election audit. State Senator Wendy Rogers sending out a fundraising email saying "Personally, I think they should be in jail. Let me put it this way: I'm Air Force and Sonny Borrelli is a Marine. I can tell you that when I landed my C-141 and 200 Marines would exit out the back ... well, you wouldn't want to be in the way. We are coming for you. You'd better check your six."

One of those members of the Board of Supervisors that they are talking about, Bill Gates, actually also received this orange prison jumpsuit in the mail today after she sent out that email calling for them to be put in jail. OutFront now, Bill Gates, the Republican Chairman of Maricopa County's Board of Supervisors. Thank you for coming in, Bill. You've been dealing with this sham audit for months now, but now being threatened and warned by other elected Republicans to watch your back. Can you just talk to me about the level of threats that you have been receiving, especially now?

[Bill Gates] Yeah, unfortunately the threats continue and they are not simply organic. They are being driven, unfortunately, by members of the Arizona State Senate and other Republicans across the country. We have received phone calls into our offices, the Board of Supervisors, our Staff, saying that our families are going to be slaughtered, and threatening us to stop standing up for the good election workers of Maricopa County.

[Erin Burnett] I want to offer some context here. You are now being targeted because you are standing up against the sham audit altogether. But specifically, because you are refusing now to hand over the routers used by the county's election division, which the State Senate has tried to subpoena multiple times. The same thing that former President Trump and his supporters are also calling for. Let me play this for folks.

[Former President Donald Trump] They don't want to give up the routers! They don't want to give them. They are fighting like hell -- Why are these commissioners fighting not to give the routers?

[Mike Lindell] We're going to pull the packet captures out of the routers and then we're going to have a cyber guy, he'll read it, and he'll go "here's what happened. Computer I.D. -- BOOM. Here's who did it. Here's the attacker. Here's the attackee.

[Erin Burnett] Now, importantly, this is a wild and baseless conspiracy theory that voting machines in your county were connected to the Internet on election day and somehow, Italian satellites were utilized to change votes from Trump to Biden. Can you lay out once and for all what you know about these routers -- it sounds ever crazy when I ask it, but I do want to ask it -- what you even know about these routers, and why you will not turn them over.

[Bill Gates] Yes, so here's the issue. This all comes down to the question of whether the machines used in the November 2020 election were connected to the Internet, and THEY WERE NOT. We had two independent auditors come in, the Board of Supervisors voted for this, and they established that these machines were not connected to the Internet. Furthermore, we have provided logs pursuant to these subpoenas from the Arizona State Senate that if the Cyber Ninjas knew what they were looking at, they would see that these logs establish that these machines were never connected to the Internet. But they continue to push forward asking for the routers. Just so your viewers understand, the reason that we're not turning over these routers, is because they basically would provide a blueprint if they got into the wrong hands of the information systems at Maricopa County. Now why is that an issue? Well, we have a lot of personal information of our citizens on those routers, but more than that, actually if this got into the wrong hands, it would provide information on sensitive law enforcement activities, law-enforcement personnel, that could put these operations at risk. And it's not just Maricopa County, because we share these databases with law enforcement across the state. So this could literally threaten sensitive law enforcement activities across the state of Arizona if we were to turn these routers over.

[Erin Burnett] But still, the threats come in, these elected officials know this or could know this very easily, but do not, and you and your family now remain in danger. Bill Gates, thank you for coming on.
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Re: Stochastic Terrorism

Postby admin » Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:37 am

Arizona GOP Official Says Family Threatened With Slaughter After He Defended Election's Integrity
by Jason Lemon
Newsweek
8/7/21 AT 12:37 PM EDT

A Republican official from Arizona's Maricopa County warned that people have threatened to slaughter the families of local leaders after they stood up for the integrity of the 2020 election, as former President Donald Trump and other Arizona GOP lawmakers attempt to undermine it.

Bill Gates, a Republican member of Maricopa County's Board of Supervisors representing District 3, spoke with CNN on Friday regarding the threats he and other county leaders have received as they've pushed back against lies and misinformation being spread about the last election.

Arizona's state Senate Republicans have been working with Florida-based Cyber Ninjas to conduct a widely panned audit of the state's 2020 election results, driven by former President Donald Trump's debunked allegations that President Joe Biden won there through fraud.

"Unfortunately, the threats continue and they're not simply organic. They're being driven, unfortunately, by members of the Arizona state Senate and other Republicans across the country," Gates told CNN. "We receive phone calls into our offices at the Board of Supervisors, our staff, you know saying that our families are gonna be slaughtered. And threatening us to stop standing up for the good elections' workers of Maricopa County."

Karen Fann, the Republican president of the Arizona Senate, dismissed Gates' suggestion that the death threats were driven by GOP leaders.

"If he sincerely believes these comments are driven by actions of Republican leaders than does he also believe all the death threats I've received is because of the actions of the [Maricopa County] Board of Supervisors and Democrats?" Fann said in a Saturday email to Newsweek.

"Threats are never acceptable on any level towards anyone and they must stop," she wrote.

Republican leaders from Maricopa County have repeatedly debunked and pushed back against the baseless, and often bizarre, claims promoted by Trump and other GOP officials about the 2020 election there.

Gates again addressed some of the groundless allegations during the interview.

"This all comes down to the question of whether the machines used in the November 2020 election were connected to the internet, and they were not," Gates asserted.

The local GOP official pointed out that Maricopa County already had two independent auditors review the machines, establishing that they "were not connected to the internet."

Cyber Ninjas and state Senate Republicans have demanded that Maricopa County hand over routers to be investigated. Gates explained that county officials have already provided logs demonstrating that the routers were not connected to the internet. He said the county cannot turn over the actual routers without seriously compromising its information system, which is also shared with law enforcement.

Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists—such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell—have jumped behind false claims that China hacked the 2020 election using satellites. As Gates and other county election officials have explained, this is not possible because the machines were not connected to the internet. Officials have also pointed out that there are paper ballots, and that audits have already been conducted to confirm that the machine tallies were correct.

Nancy Przewrocki—the clerk of Delta County in Michigan where Trump won in 2020—asserted that ballot counting machines are "never connected to the internet" in a recent interview with CNN. Delta County is one of many in the country that has been the target of Lindell's and other Trump allies' claims of hacking and fraud.

"Never connected to the internet, at all, whatsoever," Przewrocki asserted.

Officials in Maricopa County completed a formal audit of their election results last November without uncovering any discrepancies. But GOP state Senate lawmakers have pushed forward with their own audit, driven by Trump's false claims.

Jack Sellers, a Republican who chairs the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, blasted the "incompetence" of Cyber Ninjas in mid-July. He's also taken aim at Republicans in the state Senate, saying they "should be ashamed" of promoting "half-baked theories of the 'Deep Rig.'"

Updated 2:54 PM ET, with a statement from Karen Fann.
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