Bill Barr and the Trump administration would have you believe that the only people responsible for looting and vandalism and violence against people are members of Antifa and/or the political left. Remember also that they instructed us out loud not to believe what we see and hear with our own eyes and ears. They would know, since they refuse to publicly believe that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, or that Trump obstructed justice in any way shape or form. This sets the stage perfectly for what is going on now in the streets and on social media platforms like Twitter.
Thankfully, Twitter is slowly opening its eyes and disregarding Trump's directive. Twitter suspended an account created by white nationalists associated with the group Identity Evropa, because not only were they calling for violence in the streets at the protests against police brutality — they were posing as members of Antifa as they did so. Why set up, as Nicolle Wallace calls them, "Trump's favorite target?" She asked former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, to speak to this complicating and dangerous strategy.
Now, that is terrifying. Unsurprising, but terrifying. Law enforcement don't want to tell us who has been arrested unless Trump will be pleased about it. In other words, if neo-nazis are arrested, we won't hear about it. If right-wing Trump-lovers are arrested for instigating violence, we won't hear about it. Because law enforcement is afraid of the political ramifications of making Trump angry.
Nicolle Wallace asked him if this is déjà vu all over again, with Russians using our own social media against us in 2016 being so fresh a national wound. How are we to process information at all?
GEE, FRANK, BY WHICH ASPECTS OF OUR SOCIETY DO YOU PREDICT THEY WILL BE DENOUNCED, HMM?
Please, though, make no mistake. Russians dividing us racially is not new — they did it in 2016. There was a concerted effort to suppress the Black vote on the part of the Russians, by creating fake accounts purporting to be Black people, or Black Lives Matter groups, telling members to stay home, or vote third party. They're continuing to do it because we have not learned. Now, as Figliuzzi says, the white nationalist groups are adopting the same tactics — and perhaps it is because they see that we haven't learned.
One of the truly ironic and tragic parts of all of this is, Trump was right. We really can't believe what we see and hear. Because if it comes out of his administration, it's a lie.
More about Identity Evropa from SPLC and ADL,