PREMIERING NOW: Mike Benz (Part 2): How the ‘Department of Dirty Tricks’ Turned on Americans

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Previously, in part one of my interview with Mike Benz, he explained the existence of a “whole-of-society” censorship industry in the West. Benz has been tracking the rise of censorship for years as executive director of the Foundation for Freedom Online and a former State Department diplomat.

Now in part two, Benz explains how tools originally developed to promote regime change were deployed against Americans.

“What you are doing in a regime-change operation is you are operationalizing huge masses of an indigenous or domestic population in order to create a ground-up overthrow of a sitting government. And in order to do that, you need to control the media infrastructure, you need to control the narratives that people believe. … What was new is that in 2016, this began coming home,” Benz says.

Changes in America also corresponded with changes in the broader Western world, Benz says. “There became a whole new military doctrine—it’s not a new concept, [but] I think it was given a new name—called hybrid warfare. NATO declared a new doctrine called ‘from tanks to tweets.’”

And a whole new lexicon emerged to describe the new censorship regime, Benz says, from “digital resilience” to “media literacy” to “moderation” and “intervention.”

“Whoever can control the Department of Dirty Tricks is able to use it to remove all opposition,” Benz says.

Missed part one? You can watch it here. 

Continue reading here.

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