If you were looking for further proof that the world contains only a couple of dozen people and a large number of Twitter-bots, here you go.
The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company documents.
The company that was created by the Mercer family, at the request of Steve Bannon, and which Bannon directed in both the theft of personal information from Facebook and testing psychological warfare tools on the public, was put to work helping a PAC founded by John Bolton. According to the New York Times, Bolton was in on the project from the beginning.
Mr. Bolton’s political committee, known as The John Bolton Super PAC, first hired Cambridge in August 2014, months after the political data firm was founded and while it was still harvesting the Facebook data.
As with many Cambridge customers, Bolton’s PAC explained what they were doing with the firm as polling. But the contract with Cambridge Analytica details something very different:
The contract broadly describes the services to be delivered by Cambridge as “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging.”
This was at the time when the Cambridge team was first testing the messages that would define the Trump campaign. From the swamp to the wall, it may have been John Bolton who helped pay for the script that Donald Trump followed.
If it’s beginning to seem that all roads run through Cambridge Analytica, it may be because that’s true. What’s now passed off as a “populist movement” wasn’t just tested and refined by pushing memes through CA’s tools and measuring the response, the same tools were also used to plant stories that deliberately created more tension, pried open more schisms among the public, played along racial, gender, and social lines to increase tension.
Cambridge Analytica didn’t just test advertising ideas. They were, from the beginning, built to reshape American culture. Not into something more conservative, but into something more chaotic. They were designed to do what Steve Bannon has stated as his personal goal—bring down modern liberal democracies, so that something else can move into its place.
For the work that CA did for Bolton, they left absolutely no doubt about the way the “psychographic messaging” was finding its targets.
“The data and modeling Bolton’s PAC received was derived from the Facebook data,” said Christopher Wylie, a data expert who was part of the team that founded Cambridge Analytica. “We definitely told them about how we were doing it. We talked about it in conference calls, in meetings.”
If Bannon was pouring themes into Cambridge Analytica’s machine to feed the resentment of rural white America and open the door for a candidate who would speak Bannon’s lines, Bolton took on a slightly more specific task. He wanted CA creating a more belligerent, more warlike, more Bolton-like America.
“The Bolton PAC was obsessed with how America was becoming limp wristed and spineless and it wanted research and messaging for national security issues,” Mr. Wylie said.
How do you do that?
“That really meant making people more militaristic in their worldview,” he added. “That’s what they said they wanted, anyway.”
And the guy who spent a million dollars to make his fellow Americans more militaristic, is now the guy advising the White House on military actions. Another astounding coincidence.