Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

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Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby elfismiles » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:57 am

Brennan Gilmore ... altruistic govt employee helping bring connectivity to rural populations, foreign and domestic... ? ... or as cover for covert strategy of tension work? The speculations and demonizations have begun...

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brennan-gilmore-perriello.jpg
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Brennan Gilmore's WalkersRun Music Site
http://www.walkersrun.com/bio.htm

Brennan Gilmore, a native of Lexington, Virginia, formerly served as chief of staff to Tom Perriello, candidate for Virginia governor. Before that, he served for 15 years in the U.S. Foreign Service at postings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Tunisia and Sierra Leone. Brennan lives in Charlottesville, where he works in rural workforce development to bring IT jobs to underserved communities in rural Virginia.

https://diplopundit.net/tag/brennan-m-gilmore/

https://twitter.com/brennanmgilmore/sta ... 6260212737

Brennan Gilmore with MSNBC's Alex Witt On Charlottesville Terrorist Incident

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOcoq9Dsm48

RAW: Video shows a car driving into counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVkD7c2D6H0

Primary Source
What I Saw in Charlottesville Could Be Just the Beginning
How a decade of war zone diplomacy taught me the danger of enabling a cycle of hate.
By BRENNAN GILMORE
August 14, 2017

In Charlottesville on Saturday, I witnessed a brutal, calculated act of terror. A young man fueled by hatred drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the white supremacist groups that marched through our streets carrying lit torches and armed with assault weapons. As one life has been taken, and many more injured, I am grappling with the fact that the violence was deeply familiar—and should not have been surprising.

I spent most of the past 15 years representing the United States as a foreign service officer, primarily in conflict zones of Africa. I have been in dangerous situations before, and I have felt the eeriness of a usually peaceful city succumbing to racial violence.

Nothing I experienced overseas, however, prepared me to witness it happen in Virginia. I grew up in Lexington, a small town about an hour away from Saturday’s protests, attended the University of Virginia, and I now live in Charlottesville. When I was in the foreign service, I would return to my Virginia home and joke that it was “back to the Shire after adventures in Mordor.”

It turns out the joke was on me.

The turmoil began in the morning, when I joined a group protesting the white supremacists who were ostensibly demonstrating against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. But after hours of protests had produced multiple rounds of fights between the two sides, pepper spray attacks by the Nazis and eventually a declaration of a state of emergency by Governor Terry McAuliffe, the crowds dispersed and I walked with two friends down a narrow side street, thinking the worst was over. A group of anti-racist protesters, in a celebratory mood following what we hoped would be the expulsion of violent hate groups from our town, made their way up the street in the opposite direction, arms touching arms, carrying banners and chanting slogans. As I filmed them walk marching up the street, I suddenly heard the squeal of tires and an engine revving. Whipping around, I saw a car barreling toward the crowd, their faces stricken in terror. That’s when I had the heart-stopping realization that the day was about to get much worse.

What we witnessed Saturday was the terrifying but logical outcome of our escalating, toxic politics of hate. I’ve seen it happen before. Serving in the Central African Republic in 2012, I saw political leaders use hatred and “othering” as instruments to gain political power. As a result, within months, Christians and Muslims, peaceful neighbors for decades, turned against each other. I saw the same thing happen when I served in Burundi, where Hutus and Tutsis made giant strides toward reconciliation after a horrifying history of mass atrocities, only to be manipulated, divided and turned against one another yet again.

America is not Africa. But watching this past election cycle in the U.S., my stomach churned as I saw some of these themes repeating themselves. Looking back now, I can see it was leading toward a cycle of conflict that, once started, is hard to break.
ADVERTISING

Many Americans like to think that this kind of thing can’t happen here—that American exceptionalism immunizes us from the virulent racism and tribalism that tear apart other countries far, far away. But we’re more susceptible than we’d like to think.

Communities of color know this well. They have lived with the intrinsic, gut-wrenching understanding of racial violence since, well, our country’s founding. The Virginia I grew up loving and the America I spent my career defending abroad have always been capable of both tremendous good and terrible evil. Virginia was the birthplace of American democracy, but it was also the capital of the Confederacy. There are people still living in Charlottesville who remember when the city chose to close all of its public schools rather than integrate, and when the schools finally reopened, they remember walking through the doors of Charlottesville High School while angry crowds yelled, “Nigger, go home.” In this state alone, 44 black men were lynched from 1877 to 1950, often at the hands of some of the same groups that marched through Charlottesville on Saturday.

For more than a decade, elected officials on the right have been flirting dangerously with these forces. They have tolerated and even embraced a movement to undermine our first black president by questioning whether he was born in America. They have implied that our economic problems are primarily caused by immigrants. They have also failed to vigorously denounce white supremacist groups. Tom Garrett, the congressman who represents Charlottesville, has met with Jason Kessler, who organized the white supremacist event. Corey Stewart, now a Republican candidate for Senate, almost won the Republican primary for governor by running a campaign that might best be characterized as pro-Confederacy.

As a result of this decades-long flirtation, we now have a president who has emboldened white supremacists. Many of the marchers I saw on Saturday wore Make America Great Again hats, and the former KKK leader David Duke forthrightly said the purpose of the rally was to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.” If Trump doesn’t want this kind of support, he needs to say so.

Some may say that what happened in Charlottesville was not a big deal because it was a relatively small-scale event. And that’s true: Of all the race-based terrorist attacks in recent history, it was neither the largest nor did it produce the highest casualty count. After witnessing Nazis, self-declared militias and “private security forces” carrying assault rifles alongside state and local police (thanks to Virginia’s permissive gun laws), I can honestly say it could have been tragically worse.

But just because the white supremacists numbered in the hundreds, not the thousands, doesn’t mean the movement can’t quickly spiral out of control. As I saw in Sierra Leone, a small group of terrorists, in the right toxic environment and with the right powerful enablers, can unleash unspeakable violence that can swallow an entire country.

It has been incredibly valuable for prominent Republicans to denounce this hate in absolute terms, a good example of moral leadership that can stanch the mainstreaming of hate. But the president’s refusal to specifically denounce the groups responsible for the violence, instead blaming it on “many sides,” is the kind of enabling that I have seen turn other countries into bloody war zones.

This violence will continue unless we commit universally to condemning and standing against it. I am confident that most of my neighbors in Virginia and the majority of my fellow Americans know that the side marching through my town carrying lit torches and assault weapons, mowing down peaceful anti-racist protesters, and espousing an ideology of hatred and bigotry, is wrong. But it takes more than just knowing. If Americans want the violence to end, we need to actively oppose those who seek to divide us along racial lines and demand that our leaders do the same.

In his book on the neurological bases of the good and bad of human behavior, the biologist Robert Sapolsky emphasizes that it is fundamental human psychology to create an “us” and a “them.” But, he writes, “If we accept that there will always be sides, it’s a non-trivial to-do list item to always be on the side of angels.”

That’s our charge. Whether it is in Bujumbura or Charlottesville, we all must be on the side of the angels.

Brennan Gilmore, a native of Lexington, Virginia, formerly served as chief of staff to Tom Perriello, candidate for Virginia governor. Before that, he served for 15 years in the U.S. Foreign Service at postings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Tunisia and Sierra Leone. Brennan lives in Charlottesville, where he works in rural workforce development to bring IT jobs to underserved communities in rural Virginia.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... ing-215487



Brennan Gilmore (Who Filmed the Charlottesville Hit-and-Run) Was Previously a CIA Spook for State Dept.
https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/6tkbo1/brennan_gilmore_filmed_the_charlottesville_hit/


Charlottesville Attack, Brennan Gilmore and… the STOP KONY 2012 Pysop? What?
Posted on August 13, 2017 by willyloman
by Scott Creighton
https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... ysop-what/


Charlottesville Attack: Brennan Gilmore - Witness or Accessory?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_1JSC60gkg

Published on Aug 13, 2017

Examining the self-described "witness" to the Charlottesville attack.

Diplopundit review of our CAR embassy https://diplopundit.net/tag/brennan-m-gilmore/

Background on 2011-2013 revolution in CAR http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/24/world ... index.html

Brennan Gilmore's "witnessing" on CNN https://twitter.com/Minor_Leaguer/statu ... 8571226112

Updated report on Charlottesville attack http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/cha ... wd-n792116

Car Plows into Demonstrators at Unite the Right Destabilization Rally in Charlottesville Va (videos) https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... va-videos/

Charlottesville Attack: A Strategy of Tension (AE video) https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... -ae-video/



Brennan M. Gilmore | Embassy of the United States Bangui, CAR
bangui.usembassy.gov/about-us/deputy-chief/deputy-chief-of-mission.html

Prior to this, Mr. Gilmore served as the Special Assistant for Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Issues in the Bureau of African Affairs, coordinating the development …


The link is dead. They scrubbed it from the interwebs. But as you can probably imagine, when I saw he was linked somehow to the whole “STOP KONY 2012” psyop, I was amazed.


Can't confirm that as the page is not even in archive.org
https://web.archive.org/web/20170814063 ... ssion.html

Video of Random Witness worked for the State Department Foreign Service Officer
samuel ezerzer

https://youtu.be/4u3Xr_jsR5Y?t=17m18s

WHO IS BRENNAN GILMORE!!
youtubesucks forever

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJDr7L2MhGY

‘Random’ Charlottesville witness interviewed by liberal media has connections to George Soros (VIDEO)
by Jill Cueni-Cohen/ August 14, 2017
http://dennismichaellynch.com/random-ch ... ros-video/


search.php?keywords=Brennan+Gilmore


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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby Iamwhomiam » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:47 pm

Good work gathering this information on Gilmore. I certainly believe he still is working for an (CIA) alphabet agency, and was working that day, but doubt it was in the capacity being alleged. I don't believe the auto induced terrorism he filmed was a psy-op or that he was there at that point in time just to record a staged and planned massacre, at least not this one.

Of course I could be wrong. From long ago I'm on-record claiming such internal dissent was the real danger we face and that the ptb would have the populace turn on each other violently, which would greatly reduce our number without much effort from our government's domestic armed forces or military. So much easier to clean-up what they find troublesome leftover.

I have a problem with the fellow in the 37 minute video. He's reaching with unfounded and leading by innuendo to draw his audience to certain conclusions he wants conveyed, pushing an agenda. A reasonable person might ask, "so who's he working for?"
Last edited by Iamwhomiam on Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby Elvis » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:50 pm

Thanks for looking into this, Elfis. It is a bit curious he'd pop up on CNN as a 'citizen witness.'
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby elfismiles » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:56 pm

Yeah, I find his background interesting but I'm not really onboard with alleging he was acting as part of an op that day.

Of course a lot of those playing up the idea of him as agent are also spewing hate speech or similar in at least one of those vids.

I am curious about his records possibly being expunged online.

Just found it interesting to consider him as I was similarly posting about that other guy ... Jack Posobiec.
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:45 am

Via: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... lle-215514

Last Sunday evening, I received a worried call from my sister asking if I had spoken with my mother and father. I had spent the day doing interviews about the vehicle attack I witnessed the day before while protesting the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and had not been in front of a computer all day. She told me that my parents’ home address had been posted on a neo-Nazi conspiracy theorist message board.

“They are suggesting that you arranged the attack, Brennan,” she said. “There are death threats against you.”

On Saturday morning, I witnessed James Fields smash his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing Heather Heyer and wounding 19 others. Although I immediately shared the footage with police on the scene, it took me a half-hour to decide to post it publicly. I was concerned about how the footage might be used by the "alt-right" and felt uncomfortable knowing that I had probably filmed someone’s death. I did not want the attention posting the video was likely to bring. I consulted with friends and family, some of whom were also at the counterprotest and some of whom were watching the coverage from outside Charlottesville. They all urged me to share the video, and when I heard from friends that some media outlets were suggesting that it might have been an accident or that the driver might have been attempting to escape an angry mob, I knew I had to post it. The video I took—and the scene I witnessed with my own two eyes—clearly showed the attack was intentional. Fields drove down two empty blocks and plowed straight into the crowd before fleeing in reverse.

Within the next 24 hours, nearly every major American news network and a variety of international press outlets asked to interview me about the attack. I was too shaken to sleep on Saturday night, but I spent all day Sunday conducting interviews. I tried to give a frank account of what I had seen on Fourth Street and respond clearly to questions about the situation more broadly. I said there was one side and one side alone responsible for the death I witnessed—the Nazis and white supremacists who brought their ideology of violence and hate to our town. It was their man who drove his vehicle into the crowd. I thought these points were straightforward and uncontroversial.

Boy was I wrong.

Hours after an interview I did with Alex Witt of MSNBC, neo-Nazi commentators started posting about me on 4chan, Reddit and YouTube. These crack researchers bragged that they had discovered I worked for the State Department (it’s in my Twitter bio), that I have a connection to George Soros (he very publicly donated to the campaign of my former boss, Tom Perriello), and that I spent time in Africa working in conflict areas (information available in major news outlets).

Desperate to lay blame on anyone besides the alt-right, they seized on these facts to suggest a counter-narrative to the attack, claiming there was no way that someone with my background just happened to be right there to take the video. Even ignoring the fact that someone with my background—raised in Virginia, UVA graduate, lives in Charlottesville, worked to resolve ethnic conflicts overseas, politically progressive—is exactly the kind of person you’d expect to find at a protest against Nazis, their theories were absurd and illogical. They wrote that I was a CIA operative, funded by (choose your own adventure) George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the IMF/World Bank, and/or a global Jewish mafia to orchestrate the Charlottesville attack in order to turn the general public against the alt-right. I had staged the attack and then worked with MSNBC and other outlets controlled by the left to spread propaganda. They claimed my ultimate goal was to start a race war that would undermine and then overthrow Donald Trump on behalf of the “Deep State.” (I’m generalizing here as the theories are widely variant and logically inconsistent, and I’m only aware of the small percentage I could be bothered to read.)

As these theories spread, I started receiving hate mail. Some people sent me fairly tame comments on social media like, “God has a special place for you Gilmore,” “you are a lying communist Nazi” and “fuck you cuck.” Others threatened to kill me. One commenter posted that he’d like to torture me to see “the extent of my CIA training.” I was followed and accosted on the street in Charlottesville, and there have been many attempts to hack into my online accounts. One site posted all of my known addresses and family members, including the house I grew up in, where my parents still live.

Normally, I would have just ignored these threats and certainly would not have commented on them publicly. I consider it an honor to be attacked by people who have none, and I am willing to put up with personal risk to speak out against Nazis. I believe that it is incumbent on white people in particular to take the risks necessary to confront and restrain white supremacists, given the inherent and intentional risk they present to all communities of color.

My parents feel similarly and took having their address posted online by hate groups in stride. Within days a letter showed up in their mail, containing four pages of text explaining why I would burn in in hell, as well as a suspicious white powder. While the powder was a hoax, their local police department took all the threats seriously, confiscated the letter and stepped up patrols around the house. My parents’ sole precaution was to pick the remaining tomatoes from their garden, “so the Nazis wouldn’t get them.” Even in the South, there must be a limit to our hospitality.

However, these are not normal times, and a couple of things made me feel the need to speak out about these conspiracy theories and threats.

First, at some point during the week, it occurred to me that there was a pretty good chance these conspiracy theories had made their way to the White House. While they initially appeared only on obscure, wacko sites with pictures of bald eagles shooting machine guns, within 72 hours, they had gone “mainstream.” Infowars posted a “bombshell” investigation into Charlottesville that showed it was all a Soros plot, and I was the key operative. The president of the United States has been a guest on the very show that echoed theories suggesting I was, at best, an accessory to murder and, at worst, the orchestrator of the entire event, including hiring Nazi and antifa actors, staging a confrontation, and then working with allies in the mainstream “leftist” media to blind the world to the “reality.”

While some people in Facebook messages, tweets and comment boards were calling for my head, others were tweeting at various conservative leaders, including Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump and Sean Hannity, to open an investigation into my alleged role in the attack. On Thursday, Hannity broadcast claims on his radio show that the protesters in Charlottesville were paid. Although I wasn’t mentioned by name, there’s a clear connection between the conspiracy theories circulating about me orchestrating the attack and this segment, which aired on a show listened to by millions. Several days later, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a sitting U.S. congressman, called for a federal investigation of Charlottesville, alleging that protests were paid for and arranged “by forces of evil beyond what normal people can think about,” as part of a democratic agenda to make the 2018 midterm elections about race. Within less than a week the conspiracy theory had gone from an alt-right message board to millions across the country on broadcast television and radio and was being parroted by a national politician.

Trump has parroted Infowars several times, something even Infowars founder Alex Jones has described as “surreal.” Hannity dined with Trump a few weeks ago. Did I actually have to worry that the president of the United States might launch an investigation against me because I happened to capture footage of a white supremacist terror attack and spoke publicly about what I saw? I realized I couldn’t rule it out, and that frankly scares the hell out of me—for my family, but particularly for our country.

Over the past week, I’ve seen personally the very real damage that these conspiracy theories have on our public discourse. The danger is not necessarily that a large number of people will believe them in their entirety. Instead, it’s that they muddy the waters on issues that should be about right and wrong. This is truly dangerous. If we are to get beyond this current acute manifestation of the cancer of American racism and begin to heal, the right must join with the left to excise the malignancy of white supremacy from our politics and society. Conspiratorial thinking and confusion on what is real make this much harder.

When he heard about the nature of the threats I had received, one law enforcement officer said, “Well, there are two sides to every story.” Coming from rural Virginia, where Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried and where Trump received a healthy majority of the vote, perhaps I should not have been taken aback, but I admit I was.

....

We need to stop reading and believing imaginary plots. And we all need to continue to speak out and act, both against white supremacy and the culture of conspiracy that has taken root in our country.


Stop reading, guys.
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby elfismiles » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:17 pm

Yep, let us not tolerate "the [outrageous] culture of conspiracy that has taken root in our country." Brennan Gilmore

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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:27 pm

All I can say is, it's a damn good thing he wasn't eating a slice of Pizza when he was filming.
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:50 pm

Stop reading, guys.


Wombat, to my mind, the important part of that sentence is "stop believing imaginary plots."

I obviously don't know if there is any truth to the narrative that Gilmore was a plant. I would hope we here can all agree such things do happen.

Nor do I deny that the war against "fake news" has among its victims (intended and coincidental) legitimate researchers and the theories they present. And that is frightening, as it has further broad-brushed any talk in mainstream discourse about conspiracies (real, imagined, or merely hypothesized) into the thought-stopping realm of "conspiracy theory." This being RI, which has trafficked heavily in "conspiracy theory" over the years, it is a real concern.

But fake news is indeed a real thing too, from articles at sites that specialize in making false reports, like the the bogus Pope endorsing Trump story, to the self-avowed Democrats who find it amusing or revealing (it's not) to make up equally absurd stories in order to prove Republicans are gullible enough to believe them. Or the people who make up craigslist hiring ads for protesters or 'crisis actors' so they or someone else can cite it as "proof" Soros and Co. are behind every left-leaning demonstration. Or the people who are following their lead and now doing the same for pro-Trump rallies. Or the people who post random pictures of a bus and then claim to have witnessed said protesters get off the bus, but are somehow unable to get a picture that even shows people getting off the bus, or to talk to them (or name any of them, if they claim to have talked).

All this to say, what exactly is your point?

That Gilmore wants people to stop subscribing blindly to ideas that might well be nonsense, and in some cases demonstrably are? And/or that the suggestion somehow implicates him further (as indeed it may)?

I don't mean to sound combative, but it has become sparkling clear that the mass rush to judgment on ideological lines that is fueled by 4chan and its counterparts across the Internet can be truly fucking dangerous, both physically and to one's own livelihood and mental well-being. I don't want to cut off any lines of potentially-revealing inquiry, but I do demand they be conducted responsibly. None of the "many sides" involved in that behavior are innocent (though my impression has been what we now refer to as the alt-right are it's greatest pioneers). Irresponsible behavior of that type is as easily cited in Russiagate as it is in Pizzagate. I don't have the answer to how we can effectively balance the goals of allowing open inquiry while refusing to legitimize nonsense intended to incite true-believers and nutjobs into action in cyberspace or in real life. But FFS, when so many people nowadays consider a place like Infowars a reliable source, or who take at face value claims from Alex Jones or Louise Mensch, we've got to figure something out. Haven't we?
"When I'm done ranting about elite power that rules the planet under a totalitarian government that uses the media in order to keep people stupid, my throat gets parched. That's why I drink Orange Drink!"
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:16 pm

It was a fucking atrocious sentence -- that encapsulates the whole of my point.

I don't even care about my own opinions about Brennan Gilmore, and I don't think I was remiss in failing to append an essay explaining how I feel about his feelings. For what it's worth, I think he's probably just telling the truth and the kid who slammed into those protesters is probably just a fragile piece of shit.

Per this, though:

But FFS, when so many people nowadays consider a place like Infowars a reliable source, or who take at face value claims from Alex Jones or Louise Mensch, we've got to figure something out. Haven't we?


My answer is no.

I've been talking to a lot of folks about "fake news" and staged spectacles and the declining quality of American journalism, and most folks fall back on the same point: Sure, CNN and NPR and NYT carry propaganda and have narratives & agendas, but that's how we, as a culture, work out what's really going on, right?

My answer is no. It is beyond our capabilities, as individuals and as a society. The news is a product with huge, huge demand. We need to believe we know what is going on. This is precisely why we're so, so easy to manipulate.
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:10 pm

Fair enough Wombat. I didn't intend to accuse you of being remiss. I don't care how you feel about his feelings either. My only point directly related to your point was I didn't understand your point, simple as it apparently was, and was asking you to clarify.
Had you stated in the original something akin to "What a fucking atrocious sentence," I wouldn't have had the question.

Similarly, if you don't believe we as individuals or a society are capable of "working out what is really going on," that's fair was well. Goes back to Plato, and who the hell am I to argue with him? Just some dude, that's all. But I would argue real journalism, as opposed to the facsimile so often practiced these days, is capable of at least approximating what's going on, as far as our capabilities allow. Real journalism identifies facts (a murky word, I know) - those which are verifiable, and those which can be inferred, and identifies the distinctions it is making to arrive at each. It also raises questions which it may or may not be able to answer. In practice, the difference between real journalism and its fake news counterpart is the difference between reporting that, for example, something like the Viet Cong "Tet Offensive" actually was taking place in 1968, and reporting that the Jade Helm operation was actually taking place in 2015 as a real, ongoing martial law action (as opposed to a real, military exercise) in order to take the South's guns and subdue their populace then and there. [That Infowars later appended its reporting to describe it as mere practice does not negate the initial reports they ran with until it was clear they were wrong due to the failure of the conclusion they forecast to actually materialize.]
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Re: Brennan Gilmore as RI Subject

Postby minime » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:56 am

Wombaticus Rex » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:45 am wrote:Via: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... lle-215514

Last Sunday evening, I received a worried call from my sister asking if I had spoken with my mother and father. I had spent the day doing interviews about the vehicle attack I witnessed the day before while protesting the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and had not been in front of a computer all day. She told me that my parents’ home address had been posted on a neo-Nazi conspiracy theorist message board.

“They are suggesting that you arranged the attack, Brennan,” she said. “There are death threats against you.”

On Saturday morning, I witnessed James Fields smash his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing Heather Heyer and wounding 19 others. Although I immediately shared the footage with police on the scene, it took me a half-hour to decide to post it publicly. I was concerned about how the footage might be used by the "alt-right" and felt uncomfortable knowing that I had probably filmed someone’s death. I did not want the attention posting the video was likely to bring. I consulted with friends and family, some of whom were also at the counterprotest and some of whom were watching the coverage from outside Charlottesville. They all urged me to share the video, and when I heard from friends that some media outlets were suggesting that it might have been an accident or that the driver might have been attempting to escape an angry mob, I knew I had to post it. The video I took—and the scene I witnessed with my own two eyes—clearly showed the attack was intentional. Fields drove down two empty blocks and plowed straight into the crowd before fleeing in reverse.

Within the next 24 hours, nearly every major American news network and a variety of international press outlets asked to interview me about the attack. I was too shaken to sleep on Saturday night, but I spent all day Sunday conducting interviews. I tried to give a frank account of what I had seen on Fourth Street and respond clearly to questions about the situation more broadly. I said there was one side and one side alone responsible for the death I witnessed—the Nazis and white supremacists who brought their ideology of violence and hate to our town. It was their man who drove his vehicle into the crowd. I thought these points were straightforward and uncontroversial.

Boy was I wrong.

Hours after an interview I did with Alex Witt of MSNBC, neo-Nazi commentators started posting about me on 4chan, Reddit and YouTube. These crack researchers bragged that they had discovered I worked for the State Department (it’s in my Twitter bio), that I have a connection to George Soros (he very publicly donated to the campaign of my former boss, Tom Perriello), and that I spent time in Africa working in conflict areas (information available in major news outlets).

Desperate to lay blame on anyone besides the alt-right, they seized on these facts to suggest a counter-narrative to the attack, claiming there was no way that someone with my background just happened to be right there to take the video. Even ignoring the fact that someone with my background—raised in Virginia, UVA graduate, lives in Charlottesville, worked to resolve ethnic conflicts overseas, politically progressive—is exactly the kind of person you’d expect to find at a protest against Nazis, their theories were absurd and illogical. They wrote that I was a CIA operative, funded by (choose your own adventure) George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the IMF/World Bank, and/or a global Jewish mafia to orchestrate the Charlottesville attack in order to turn the general public against the alt-right. I had staged the attack and then worked with MSNBC and other outlets controlled by the left to spread propaganda. They claimed my ultimate goal was to start a race war that would undermine and then overthrow Donald Trump on behalf of the “Deep State.” (I’m generalizing here as the theories are widely variant and logically inconsistent, and I’m only aware of the small percentage I could be bothered to read.)

As these theories spread, I started receiving hate mail. Some people sent me fairly tame comments on social media like, “God has a special place for you Gilmore,” “you are a lying communist Nazi” and “fuck you cuck.” Others threatened to kill me. One commenter posted that he’d like to torture me to see “the extent of my CIA training.” I was followed and accosted on the street in Charlottesville, and there have been many attempts to hack into my online accounts. One site posted all of my known addresses and family members, including the house I grew up in, where my parents still live.

Normally, I would have just ignored these threats and certainly would not have commented on them publicly. I consider it an honor to be attacked by people who have none, and I am willing to put up with personal risk to speak out against Nazis. I believe that it is incumbent on white people in particular to take the risks necessary to confront and restrain white supremacists, given the inherent and intentional risk they present to all communities of color.

My parents feel similarly and took having their address posted online by hate groups in stride. Within days a letter showed up in their mail, containing four pages of text explaining why I would burn in in hell, as well as a suspicious white powder. While the powder was a hoax, their local police department took all the threats seriously, confiscated the letter and stepped up patrols around the house. My parents’ sole precaution was to pick the remaining tomatoes from their garden, “so the Nazis wouldn’t get them.” Even in the South, there must be a limit to our hospitality.

However, these are not normal times, and a couple of things made me feel the need to speak out about these conspiracy theories and threats.

First, at some point during the week, it occurred to me that there was a pretty good chance these conspiracy theories had made their way to the White House. While they initially appeared only on obscure, wacko sites with pictures of bald eagles shooting machine guns, within 72 hours, they had gone “mainstream.” Infowars posted a “bombshell” investigation into Charlottesville that showed it was all a Soros plot, and I was the key operative. The president of the United States has been a guest on the very show that echoed theories suggesting I was, at best, an accessory to murder and, at worst, the orchestrator of the entire event, including hiring Nazi and antifa actors, staging a confrontation, and then working with allies in the mainstream “leftist” media to blind the world to the “reality.”

While some people in Facebook messages, tweets and comment boards were calling for my head, others were tweeting at various conservative leaders, including Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump and Sean Hannity, to open an investigation into my alleged role in the attack. On Thursday, Hannity broadcast claims on his radio show that the protesters in Charlottesville were paid. Although I wasn’t mentioned by name, there’s a clear connection between the conspiracy theories circulating about me orchestrating the attack and this segment, which aired on a show listened to by millions. Several days later, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a sitting U.S. congressman, called for a federal investigation of Charlottesville, alleging that protests were paid for and arranged “by forces of evil beyond what normal people can think about,” as part of a democratic agenda to make the 2018 midterm elections about race. Within less than a week the conspiracy theory had gone from an alt-right message board to millions across the country on broadcast television and radio and was being parroted by a national politician.

Trump has parroted Infowars several times, something even Infowars founder Alex Jones has described as “surreal.” Hannity dined with Trump a few weeks ago. Did I actually have to worry that the president of the United States might launch an investigation against me because I happened to capture footage of a white supremacist terror attack and spoke publicly about what I saw? I realized I couldn’t rule it out, and that frankly scares the hell out of me—for my family, but particularly for our country.

Over the past week, I’ve seen personally the very real damage that these conspiracy theories have on our public discourse. The danger is not necessarily that a large number of people will believe them in their entirety. Instead, it’s that they muddy the waters on issues that should be about right and wrong. This is truly dangerous. If we are to get beyond this current acute manifestation of the cancer of American racism and begin to heal, the right must join with the left to excise the malignancy of white supremacy from our politics and society. Conspiratorial thinking and confusion on what is real make this much harder.

When he heard about the nature of the threats I had received, one law enforcement officer said, “Well, there are two sides to every story.” Coming from rural Virginia, where Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried and where Trump received a healthy majority of the vote, perhaps I should not have been taken aback, but I admit I was.

....

We need to stop reading and believing imaginary plots. And we all need to continue to speak out and act, both against white supremacy and the culture of conspiracy that has taken root in our country.


Stop reading, guys.


When you say, "Stop reading", I assume you don't mean "Stop reading", but rather you mean, "Keep reading, but speak out and act as well." So, Wombaticus Rex, what would you have us say and do as well, and to whom? Do we speak and act against white supremacy and the culture of conspiracy that has taken root in our country?

If nothing else, we could at least follow your good example.
Rigorous intuition is radically inclusive.
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