So Twitter was the FBI's b-word?
The FBI seems to have considered Twitter an asset, an informant, based on its behavior disclosed in the latest dump of the Twitter Files.
In Part 7, Michael Shellenberger tweets that the bureau handed out the foreign influence spiel, which was the reason for its task force, and repeatedly pumped Twitter for information about foreign actors.
14. Were the FBI warnings of a Russian hack-and-leak operation relating to Hunter Biden based on *any* new intel?— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
No, they weren't
“Through our investigations, we did not see any similar competing intrusions to what had happened in 2016,” admitted FBI agent Elvis Chan in Nov. pic.twitter.com/tFPMqbydbA
If Twitter couldn't cough up that information, the bureau pumped them harder for it.
15. Indeed, Twitter executives *repeatedly* reported very little Russian activity.— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
E.g., on Sept 24, 2020, Twitter told FBI it had removed 345 “largely inactive” accounts “linked to previous coordinated Russian hacking attempts.” They “had little reach & low follower accounts." pic.twitter.com/hy7hPahChS
It was as if they had a thesis they wanted to prove and were relying on Twitter to prove it for them.
20. Time and again, FBI asks Twitter for evidence of foreign influence & Twitter responds that they aren’t finding anything worth reporting.— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
“[W]e haven’t yet identified activity that we’d typically refer to you (or even flag as interesting in the foreign influence context).” pic.twitter.com/ghGNz4ZzXB
Twitter couldn't, because there was "no there, there" but rather than conclude that there was no there, there and close the books on the investigation as a useless rabbit hole, they kept at it, desperate to find facts to conform to their thesis.
Twitter tried, but came up empty.
The bureau also spent time on their own side picking out low-traffic conservatives fo Twitter to censor and conducted a "master-canine" relation (as Matt Taibbi put it earlier) with the platform, issuing "fetch"-style orders to its asset to shut down or take "action" on Twitter accounts the FBI didn't like, that threatened Joe Biden and his presidential prospects not because the information was false ... but because it was true.
It was as if Twitter was some kind of informant of the FBI's.
It looked even more the case with news that comes out that the bureau delivered, shall we say, incentives for this sort of information about Russian influence that it was sure was there, like a pony in the pile of manure -- and was actually just a pile of manure.
46. The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021. pic.twitter.com/SmNse97QxK
The $3.4 million shelled out by the bureau to Twitter seemed ... a little excessive. After all, a layabout organization like Twitter, bloated of staff before Musk came along, with most of them only there to eat the free food, was hardly put upon by the FBI for staff time, which would have otherwise been spent smoking pot, harassing or doxxing someone on Twitter, doing some kind of Sam Bankman-Fried activity, or some other useless thing. Musk got rid of Twitter staff for a reason when he first came in. The free $3.4 million from the FBI for doing nothing it wouldn't ordinarily do was some kind of strange and expensive gravy. It must have taken them two minutes to delete accounts it didn't like. The $3.4 million was a pretty penny.
One wonders how the cash was delivered -- was it done in cash under the table? Did the bureau advise Twitter that the $3.4 million paid, for "staff time," were taxable earnings? Maybe Shellenbarger could check on that, seeing which line they used on their tax forms to claim the payout.
What's striking about this whole operation with Twitter is how similar it is to the Steele dossier operation, where characters like Christopher Steele and Igor Danchenko, both also paid FBI informants, were pumped for anything damaging on President Trump through the Russians, which in their cases was information that didn't exist any more than Twitter had information that existed. They were paid pretty pennies for their loyalty to the cause of Getting Trump, too.
It's also quite similar to the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping operation, again, in which informants were pumped for information about right-wing plots that didn't exist, and in this case enticed to create a kidnapping plot in time to swing the 2020 election for Joe Biden.
That common thread that keeps running is that informants are pumped and paid for information that they can't produce because that information doesn't exist. Yet the bureau keeps on them, creating false cases, violations of the First Amendment, and a nonstop legal harassment drama against a sitting president, all of which run counter to the FBI's mission.
Ideological fanaticism creates people who are desperate to create their own facts and make those facts true. That seems to have swept a large part of the FBI, harming Americans and harming their own mission in the process. With a pattern like this going on, perhaps some re-education about the basics of investigation, about coming to no conclusions until the facts are in, would seem in order once the Biden crew is finally swept out by voters.
Image: Twitter screen shot