Not DB: Special Operations Forces Full of Extremists

You know, the kind of people who -- like a majority of Americans -- believe the election was stolen. Perhaps coincidentally, US Special Forces in particular are likely to have operated in third world countries where dodgy elections are the norm; and they have significant insight into the behind-the-scenes operations of our own government too. But let's go with 'crazy conspiracy theories and QAnon,' says NBC.

The story is based on posts in 'secret Facebook groups,' whose membership is of course completely confirmed to be actual SOF. Definitely no stolen valor goes on with this internet thing.

By the way, how strong is the claim that SOF is rife with QAnon followers? Way down the article we get this: "QAnon followers aren't necessarily common among special operations forces. But if any member of the military believes in the conspiracy theory..."

Oh, OK.

Also amusing is the note that SOCOM experienced a "hiccup" in its "counter-extremism" training after their new Diversity and Inclusion chief was found to have compared Trump to Hitler in social media posts. But I mean, that's mainstream, right?

UPDATE: Relatedly, a genuine conspiracy theory spread through American journalism that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers. "All they had was an anonymous leak from “intelligence officials” — which The New York Times on Thursday admitted came from the CIA — but that was all they needed."

Well, of course you can trust anonymous clandestine intelligence sources. That's mainstream, right? 


J Melcher said...

I have a hypothesis. Since nobody is in on it with me, it doesn't (yet) rise to the level of a conspiracy "theory". But I publish here to see how crazy y'all think I might be.

Two of the three officers who died in the aftermath of the January 6th trespass (can I get into trouble by avoiding the word "insurrection"?) at the capital building took their own lives some days later. Jeffrey Smith was a D.C. City Police officer, and Howard Liebengood was an officer of the Capitol Police. No word from either of the "forces" about suicide notes or discussions with family members or any indication of motives or problems. The police unions in D.C. have asked to be told, yea or nay, whether these deaths are to be considered "in the line of duty" or not. (Obviously, benefits due to the families are dependent on the answer to the question. And obviously it is the duty of the union to press for such an answer/ruling. Last time I checked there has been no such resolution.

Sometimes a peace/law officer has been reported to be despondent, consumed by guilt, after a shooting. Even a "righteous shoot" can burden an honorable man. It seems to me not implausible that of two suicides, one might be related to "feelings of guilt". And it might not be a completely unreasonable stretch to wonder if Ashli's Babbett's shooting as she trespassed might be considered, by the shooter at least, as a perhaps avoidable, UN-righteous, shooting. The officer responsible for that shooting has not been charged, or even identified. There is a report that officer has been "cleared".

I wonder if the cleared officer was available to testify? Was he represented by his union advocate? Does the union, institutionally, know who the shooter was? We don't need to know the name (rank, address, years of service, etc...) of the cleared officer. But it would be useful to be sure due process was fully followed.

If the officer was NOT available to investigators in Babbitt's death, it would be useful to know that, too. Was he dead? In hiding? Consumed by guilt and in psychiatric care? Protected by the union?

There are these random dots in the picture awaiting someone to come around and connect them up. Some, seemingly, aren't so random as all that.

Too bad we don't have a professional crew of investigative reporters who are curious about such matters and can present the facts objectively.

Anonymous said...

The majority of Americans do not believe that the election was stolen. The question was whether people felt cheating affected the election, not whether cheating affected the election against Trump.

From the article:
" According to Rasmussen Reports, 'Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans believe it is likely last year’s presidential election was affected by cheating, a view shared by 30% of Democrats and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major party.'

Think about that. Nearly a third of Democrats admitted that they believe cheating may have impacted the result—meaning that they think Trump may have been the legitimate winner of the election."

This is an interpretation not supported by the question. 30 % of Democrats may well have believed cheating was affected the election, but not necessarily to the benefit of Biden. Many believe that efforts were made to dilute Biden's share of the vote and to discard Biden votes.


Grim said...

Probably it's rather more than half, but there's 51% who are willing to admit it to pollsters in the face of a full court press to silence and shame the viewpoint.

I'm one of the Democrats who is convinced of the cheating; and the Time magazine confession confirmed at least quite a bit of illegal/unconstitutional activity to effect the removal of Trump via the 'election.'

In the fullness of time, I believe that everyone will know -- as we do about the theft of the Kennedy/Nixon election. For now, the evidence grows daily.

Anonymous said...

"Probably it's rather more than half, but there's 51% who are willing to admit it to pollsters in the face of a full court press to silence and shame the viewpoint. "

This is nothing more than assertion. You are not only ignoring that there is a real problem with the interpretation of the 30% of Democrats stat, but then you go on to claim more than 51% of people believe the election was stolen...based on...???...nothing more than your own speculation.

Make your argument with something that holds up externally. Asserting your own, strong feelings doesn't make them facts.


Grim said...

You'll find that this is my place, and I don't have to do what you want. Here or anywhere, actually.

In any case hard evidence isn't always available, and we often have to go on intuition. I do notice that supermajorities in every poll I see say that Voter ID is highly desirable, and that election security is more important than worries about voter suppression. That may be a telling proxy.

Grim said...

An aside: If you check the archive, you'll see that this blog has existed since 2003. In that time, I've had tens of thousands of arguments about things with various people on this and various other sites, including some of the biggest blogs of the golden era of blogs (especially BLACKFIVE, of which I was a member).

Perhaps fifteen years ago I would have bothered to argue with you in the way you'd prefer. At some point I realized it was a waste of time. Nobody's mind is ever changed in these political discussions. I could dig up polls and citations and whatever; it would take hours and you'd think of another way to explain them away.

Thus, I don't bother to do that anymore. That whole mode of engagement is a waste of time; and all the things that count as 'empirical evidence' these days are hopelessly tainted by confirmation bias, political bias, availability bias, and the like. Look at how accurate polls have tended to be in any recent election, here or abroad; or how accurate major news stories have proven to be, like 'Russia is paying bounties to kill Americans.' As von Clausewitz warned, once you cross a certain threshold the ability to obtain accurate information about anything in a timely manner becomes deeply wounded.

Anonymous said...

Got it. This is a place to vent your speculation and thoughts to like-minded people without pushback or other people pointing out what might be mistakes in your assumptions or assertions.

Consider this my last post.


Tom said...

Well, at least without disrespect, G. There are better ways to engage people if you are interested in real conversations.

But, if you do come back, let's be fair. Your unsupported statement that "The majority of Americans do not believe that the election was stolen" is likewise a mere assertion. From the Rasmussen poll, we can only conclude that we don't know whether a majority believes it or not. (Although the specifics of the poll are only for subscribers, so maybe they do know, but we can't w/o subscribing.)

My experience is that Grim's point about people changing their minds is valid. Why waste a bunch of time pulling up facts and writing them up into clear, valid arguments, if in the end the person arguing with you is just going to dismiss it all?

I find the question "What would convince you to change your opinion about this?" can be a very clarifying way to start when engaging with people with different beliefs. Of course, answering it yourself is likewise important. You both then begin with at least the idea that one or both of you may need to change your mind.

Absent that, what's the point?

raven said...

I've tried to present facts on occasion, but as soon as a contrary view is offered, the basis/origin of the fact is questioned.

Anything X says is truth, anything Y presents is just disinformation.
So the very first point of discussion, has to be- exactly who's "facts " are we going to give credence to?

Do we trust the uniform crime statistics, or BLM- etc, on every conceivable subject. Eventually, we come down to the evidence of our personal experiences, and run into Orwell's comment on propaganda- when it is successful, the subject will believe what they are told , to the EXCLUSION of their own observations.

Truth, and facts, are no longer immutable- truth is what "they" say it is, and it can change in a moment. Facts depend on who is asserting it, also changeable instantly on demand.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have disagreed with Grim a few times on this site, and he on mine. sometimes we modify each other's view somewhat, sometimes not.

I thought Anonymous had the beginnings of a reasonable argument which he squandered. As I am having a similar issue at my own site it was helpful to me to be able to view this as an outsider and get that perspective. I was going to put restrictions on Zachriel that I thought would do him some good in his persuasiveness, communications style, and ultimately, his thinking. My oldest son advised me to simply not respond to him anymore. That solution is looking better and better.

Grim said...

We don't know why a poll respondent answered a particular way; but notice that cherry picking the point that 'we can't be sure that some of those Democrats didn't mean they thought Biden was cheated' ends up derailing the discussion of the major point. The major point wasn't that poll; that poll was only to suggest that the position is hardly an extreme one, but well supported across the voter spectrum (including 30% of Democrats, whomever they thought was cheated -- although 'affecting the outcome' suggests a change in winners, doesn't it?).

The post wasn't about the poll, let alone a single crosstab within the poll. The point was about the NBC story on SOF. Questions that look to derail a discussion on a marginal point where no further proof is available (who can talk with those poll respondents to determine further why they responded as they did?) are almost invariably a sign of bad faith argumentation.

My patience for such is exhausted.

raven said...

" to simply not respond to him anymore. That solution is looking better and better."

Some years ago I had an encounter with the woke and entitled. A self titled artist.
He wanted a special deal on a product- one piece. He was going to shop around and check everyone's quote, then buy from the lowest bidder.
I explained to him our cost to pack and ship and handle was the same for one as twenty, hence we had no room to move on price. He was furious.
I explained our cost to import, pay duty, pay transport, etc. I was ripping off the starving artist, and was just a rich uncaring business owner. This is over a $30 item. I suggested since he was purportedly going into business, that a few courses in that field might prove valuable. He became even more furious, and insisted he knew all about those rich money grubbers.
At no time did I use anything other than a respectful voice. I wish I had kept the email exchange because it was such a clear illustration, and somewhat frightening to be frank, as the disconnect form the real would was astounding.
The funny thing was I was prepared to send him the product gratis if he had not tried to play an extremely chickenshit game of hardball. All he had to do was be polite. I just gave up, there was no way to get through.

james said...

Grim, what resources did they give you for election observation? I've my own set of red flags, which are probably incomplete. (I can safely assert that the election was not honest--whether it was stolen is another matter, since hatred is a better election motivator than love, and I know plenty who hate Trump intensely and many more who believed what the haters told them.)

Grim said...

So, since these elections were in third world countries, the whole issue with voting machines that dominated the American discussion was absent. I have no idea if the voting machines were or weren't honest, and no special expertise in evaluating claims like that; all I know is that there has been intense resistance to efforts to audit the machines from government officials here.

Using paper ballots, there were a number of standards that allow you to verify that the process is or isn't being honest. The most important is transparency. In Egypt (where the election was apparently completely honest, as it could easily be since the government had barred all the opposition candidates beforehand) we had badges that allowed us to inspect any site at random. I checked the seals on the ballot boxes, which were numerically coded and supposed to be in numerical order without gaps. Ballots were also numerically ordered, and you could therefore see if the ballot books were being cooked by introducing out-of-order ballots that might have been marked beforehand. (This makes what happened in Fulton County a huge red flag, as they dismissed poll watchers and the press under the claim that the counting was over, produced boxes of new ballots, and then apparently counted them for hours. Likewise in Philadelphia, election monitors were excluded for hours and had to get a court order, which the police then refused to enforce per Ron Coleman who was one of the observers.)

In Iraq we had State Department Provincial Reconstruction Teams assigned to the elections to ensure they were run honestly. The State Department has a list of specific red flags that it looks for internationally when trying to decide if an election was stolen. For example, here is their official memo for the 2004 disputed election in Ukraine:

Here I provide their list of anomalies, with my commentary as to 2020:

Illegal Use of Absentee Ballots: Confirmed by several courts now, and the Time Magazine article, absentee ballots were used in clear violation of legislature-passed laws.

Opposition Observers Ejected: As mentioned above.

North Korean-Style Turnout in the East: Turnout issues were widely noted at the time, with levels far in excess of what is usual in specific districts that favored Biden.

Mobile Ballot Box Fraud: These 'drop boxes' are noted as fraud-friendly, and were introduced illegally along with the mass use of absentee ballots last year.

Computer Data Allegedly Altered To Favor Yanukovych: Again, I don't know anything about this to let me evaluate whether the Dominion-type claims are true. I do know that Elizabeth Warren joined a Democratic panel that was very worried about Dominion being fraud-prone in 2018, though, so it's a bipartisan concern.

Reports of Opposition Fraud: There were literally thousands of sworn affidavits after the 2020 election of fraud, from ballot-box stuffing and vertical-line vote drops in the middle of the night to efforts to wipe the machines before they could be audited.

So all in all, leaving the headline claims about voter machine fraud to the side, it sure looks like a stolen election looks.

james said...

Are the complete Fulton Country videos available? It would have been hard to look worse, but the PowerthatBe claimed that those were envelopes and not ballots. All I saw was the famous video selection that was shown to the committee. If the full tapes proved their claim, I assume that any privacy or ownership regulations would have been swiftly waived.

Grim said...

I'm not sure what is available. I don't trust the Powers That Be, though, because the Secretary of State has been involved in the lawsuits in favor of trying to block access -- currently he's filed an amicus brief to try to block access to ballots by the auditors, so they can only look at ballot images stored on the machines. He and Kemp have been on the wrong side of every part of this scheme; I'd guess, per the Time Magazine article, that they're doing what the Chamber of Commerce asked.

I have heard that a new investigative report on Georgia will be made public next week, so watch for that.