koch brothers
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Protesters rally against David and Charles Koch's rumored plans to buy the Los Angeles Times.
PropOrNot: Evidence of a CIA Psychological Operation ... On November 24, The Washington Post published a story citing the anonymous group PropOrNot. The story accused the Russians of building a large propaganda operation that worked to defeat Hillary Clinton and elect "insurgent candidate" Donald Trump. It claimed a large number of alternative news websites are acting as Russian agents, dupes, and useful idiots. - BoilingFrogs/Rockwell
This article excerpted above explains the forces behind PropOrNot and identifies them from a leftist/Ukraine standpoint. But another article published not so long ago by Washington's blog, here, makes the connection between Ukraine and the Koch Brothers.

This article will explain briefly what would seem to be full (or almost full) panoply of influences behind PropOrNot. The Koch Brothers along with the Scaife Foundation and some hugely powerful intel agencies have been identified as supporting the PropOrNot initiative. We've already written about this issue here and here.

But we were puzzled by some other articles that seemed to attribute PropOrNot to different influences, including those of the Clintons and some groups oddly affiliated with Ukraine. The Kochs and Clintons didn't seem to fit together but as it turns out, there's apparently a link thanks to Washington's blog, which seems to have solved this particular puzzle for us.

Here are some excerpts from an article published in early November 2016.
Koch Brothers Secretly Allied w. George Soros for Hillary Clinton ... The leading financiers of the Republican Party, the Koch brothers, were exposed ... by the great investigative journalist Lee Fang, as being solid supporters and heavy financiers of congressional candidates who have been leaders in expanding the U.S. military budget and moving America toward a police state (including militarization of the police).

The leading financier of the Democratic Party, George Soros, has long been known to provide major financial backing for the most-neoconservative Democratic candidates, such as Hillary Clinton, who favor every possible military invasion and coup (and see this, for more on that).

In fact, Soros was one of the top three financial backers (the other two were the U.S. government and the Netherlands government) for the television station in Ukraine that championed extermination of the people in Ukraine's Donbass region, where the coup-imposed government, which he helped to install, is loathed.

And also on the Ukrainian matter, the Kochs have championed the view that when considering whether Crimea should be part of Russia, or else part of Ukraine, or else entirely independent, the people who live there shouldn't have any opportunity to vote on the matter, and they should instead be forced to be 'Ukrainians', even if they loathe this post-coup Ukrainian government.

Comment: In the original article, Eric Zuesse continues:
Soros and the Kochs insist that this Ukrainian government should be imposed upon Crimeans, regardless of what they want. ...

Regarding the U.S. Presidential contest, the difference between the Kochs and Soros is that the Kochs in 2016 directed all of their political financing away from the Presidential contest altogether, so as to weaken Trump's effort to beat Hillary, whereas Soros has devoted tens of millions of dollars to the financing of Hillary's campaign and of PACS (such as this) that support Hillary against Trump.

Hillary is supported by Kochs and the big oil-and-gas firms as well as by Soros and Wall Street. Virtually all of the U.S. aristocracy want Hillary Clinton to become President.
The Kochs supported Rep. Ron Johnson, until he urged Republicans to vote for Trump. Then they cut off his financial support. From another Zuesse piece on Zero Hedge:
The Koch-led network of billionaires (who rely upon hiring academia and media for manipulating voters), and the Rove-led network of billionaires (who rely far more heavily upon garnering Wall Street money and Evangelical clergy for manipulating voters), have long been the two financial mainstays of the Republican Party. The Kochs have now made unmistakably clear that they want Hillary Clinton to become the next President (and, thus, academics and the media will overwhelmingly support Hillary). Previously, there was question as to whether the Kochs would go so far as to help a Democrat; but, now, there is no serious doubt about it: they already do (though as quietly as possible, and not in their own — often lying — mere words).

The Rove-led billionaires' faction are also strongly inclined to prefer Hillary, but can't afford to alienate the Republican electorate, and so they will continue to support other Republicans but not Trump.(Consequently, Ron Johnson, for example, still can get their money.) They aren't as emphatic about their backing of Hillary as the Koch-led faction is. They won't withdraw their financial support from Republicans (such as Johnson) who campaign for Trump. They aren't really pro-Hillary; but the Koch-contingent now are.
...
The question regarding Trump as President would be: would he sell the government (perhaps at low prices to his friends and at high prices to his enemies) for various prices (as Clinton already has done — sold it to both her friends and her 'enemies' — but which sales she now only needs to deliver on); or would he, instead, refuse to sell it, and actually try to run the U.S. government for and on behalf of the American public? He has no actual record in public office; so, there's no way of answering that question, unless and until he becomes President. But if Hillary Clinton becomes President, then the outcome would be much more certain, because she already has a lengthy record in 'public' service. It's one that the Kochs probably appreciate very much. (And especially Hillary's record as the U.S. Secretary of State is informative about the type of President she would make. Her real priorities are clear by her actions, though not at all by her words. By contrast, Trump's priorities are, and might long remain, a mystery.)

There we seem to have the connection in full, depending on the credibility of those reporting these linkages. In any event, we are fairly comfortable: Washington's blog has been around a long time and the article is well-footnoted.

And so we are likely learning the Kochs via Soros are now integrated with larger, leftist/Ukraine technocratic/fascist elements ... It makes sense that PropOrNot draws resources (or inspiration) from an array of monied influences. The website itself is incredibly bold, a real statement of mighty intent.

The CIA is involved, as is obvious. And the CIA has relationships with such groups as the Institute of Modern Russia. The Boiling Frogs article excerpted at the beginning of this analysis explains that PropOrNot "has all the hallmarks of an intelligence operation."

In fact, the strategy out of which PropOrNot was developed reportedly may stem from an article written in early 2008 by Cass Sunstein and colleague Adrian Vermeule titled simply "Conspiracy Theories."

Sunstein and Vermeule argue the existence of conspiracy theories "may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law."

Importantly, the paper proposed "attacking targeted groups in cyberspace." Also: "Whatever the tactical details, there would seem to be ample reason for government efforts to introduce some cognitive diversity into the groups that generate conspiracy theories."

These ideas since then seem to have been put into practice in one way or another by both the Pentagon and MI6 which reportedly collaborates with the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade of the US Army.

The Pentagon and MI6 have focused on energy on Ukraine and on undermining Russia's presence and claims to Crimea. The Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank dedicated to the study of Central and Eastern Europe, also seems to be part of this group. (Its advisory council includes Zbigniew Brzezinski along with Madeleine Albright.)
More:

Although PropOrNot strives to remain anonymous, it does reveal connections to Modern Russia and its Interpreter Mag and thus, through Voice of America, its association with the CIA. Interpreter Mag is listed under "Related Projects" on its website.

PropOrNot also collaborates with Polygraph Fact-Check, a purported fact-checking website produced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America, in other words, the CIA.

Another so-called fact-checking operation is listed, Politifact. It is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute and shares a donor with the Clinton Foundation, the Omidyar Network, created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. He is a major donor of Kiev-based Hromadske TV, "the symbol of the info wars between Moscow and the Western world," according to Forbes.
And there you have it. Via George Soros ... the Kochs and Scaife Foundation (and others) are linked to an entirely opposite (seemingly so) series of power centers including Ukraine "think tanks" and NGOs along with the most powerful Democratic groups including the Clintons. (And remember, we probably haven't reached the top of this sprawling network.)

Conclusion: This is truly a broad array of resources as might be expected for a group that wants to wipe out an entire media industry. The question must then be asked with a mixture of hope and anxiety: How does President Trump fit in?
Editor's Note: Some of this might seem like politics-as-usual, though of a very dirty variety, but the ramifications could certainly affect the alternative media that has already been accused of co-conspiring with Russia to affect the elections. The Daily Bell is a libertarian publication and its articles have often stated that people ought to look out for their own interests first as best they can because politics are unpredictable and usually don't change much - or just make things worse. Additionally, as a libertarian publication, DB has published articles in the past explaining that RT and Putin himself are part of the larger questionable dialectic being presented by East and West. In no way can DB be considered a proponent of Russian propaganda.
Misguided Support for PropOrNot Seems to Include Koch Brothers, CIA, Parts of Congress

The CIA, the Koch Brothers and parts of Congress seem to support PropOrNot's extensive list of 200-plus alternative-news websites that supposedly have disseminated Russian propaganda. According to this article, above, anti-alternative news fervor in Congress could serve to bind together the parties in a common cause.

In fact, this alliance is already broader than Congress. We recently published an article, here speculating on the involvement of powerful media manipulators and owners including the Koch Brothers and the Scaife Foundation. The Kochs were publicly anti-Trump and reportedly tried to infiltrate Trump's campaign in order to influence its direction.

It is certainly possible that the Kochs helped organize PropOrNot and its list of alternative media websites, many of whom were at least to some degree supportive of Trump. But other support is becoming clearer as well, including support from the CIA and, as mentioned above, growing bipartisan Congressional approval.

Congress seems divided about Russian involvement in manipulating US elections but in the span of several days, support has been at least clarified. The House of Representatives has passed a bill calling for considerable funding of a special government agency to investigate Russian involvement in American elections and who in the US might have facilitated that involvement.

The Senate meanwhile passed a bill supporting additional government funding to investigate how Russian influence had been brought to bear on US elections.

Mitch McConnell, GOP Senate leader, has now made public statements endorsing investigations into Russian influence on American elections. We previously wrote hereabout McConnell's resistance to this supposition and how criminal threats were starting to be made against him. On Monday he changed his mind.

What's going on in Washington is obviously "hard ball." All the harder because Russian influence on US elections - and hacking - cannot be proven without a reasonable doubt. Thus there is plenty of dissension over congressional moves and also over whether or not the Russians actually interfered in US elections, let alone made a Trump victory possible.

This is not going to stop Congressional investigations apparently and a presumably an ongoing misguided emphasis on the organized connivance of alternative media with Russia.

More:
Russian meddling in the presidential election could have one unintended but potentially positive consequence: reviving a congressional willingness to conduct serious bipartisan investigations even if they pose political risks.

If members of Congress find a way to move forward together to investigate the Russian activities, it would represent a reversal from recent years when lawmakers were driven to mount full-fledged inquiries only if they could damage the opposition party and not their own. It could also provide a model for how Congress approaches future clashes with the incoming Trump administration.

Watchdog groups caution that the galvanizing force in this case is Russia, a subject that leaders of both parties are likely to rate an easy target. "The Russians are not our friends," Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, told reporters on Monday.
One group that seems to have no doubt about anti-Russian assertions is the CIA, which has let it be known in several ways that it has confidence in conclusions that the Russians influenced US elections and did so to help Trump.

Again, there is no actual hard evidence of this. Other US intel agencies have refused to endorse CIA conclusions. The FBI is known to be skeptical as well.

PropOrNot gained notoriety when the Washington Post wrote an article about the website and its accusations regarding the dissemination of Russian propaganda.

The Washington Post has refused to apologize for the article though a good deal of doubt has been cast on both the list and the initial reasoning that involving successful Russian influence in electing Trump. WashPo was reportedly part of a number of influential media entities including TIME and The New York Times that formed the core of the CIA-based "Mockingbird" propaganda push back in the mid 20th century.

Project Mockingbird supposedly reached an understanding with top mainstream media to disseminate important CIA propaganda. Much of what was disseminated involved US international stances and the need for military preparedness and action.

Back in the 1920s it has been reported that certain influential men purchased a large block of the US's most influential media in order to form a media cartel. Like Project Mockingbird, the intention was to use these information outlets to propagandize at will.

Now it would seem that the influence of the mainstream media is being brought to bear on the alternative media with an eye toward removing an influential, if underfunded source, of truth-telling not directly affiliated with establishment news and information.

President-elect Trump has fought back against accusations that Russians hacked political servers or attempted to move the election in his direction and pointed out correctly there is no evidence of this, only circumstantial supposition. And it is probably unlikely that the Electoral College will be able to overturn what is evidently a legitimate political victory.

On the other hand, Trump has just appointed Mike Pompeo as to be head of the CIA, a man who has been called the Koch Brothers "favorite" Senator by the Nation. Additionally, the Kochs have reportedly set up their own CIA-like entity to engage in various forms of industrial and political spying. The group reportedly includes former CIA agents. It is even possible that the Kochs are secretly supportive of Trump despite their public denigration of him.

What's not clear is how powerful certain misguided alliances are or even how powerfully they will hound the alternative media. However, a list does exist and over 200 entities stand accused of supporting Russian propaganda.