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The GEC Twitter File

The Global Engagement Center (GEC) started with an innocuous-sounding mission but in fact was a tyrannical Trojan horse.

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Yesterday at noon, Matt Taibbi released, as promised, Twitter Files 17. This file profiles the Global Engagement Center, or GEC. Actually, Mr. Taibbi discussed GEC once before – in Twitter Files 12. Back then, Taibbi called it “the bellybutton of the FBI.” Twitter Files 17 discusses GEC in greater detail, including its origins, its interaction with Twitter, and the monstrous network that grew around it and continues to this day.

WTF did GEC come from?

GEC began with EO 13271, which Barack Obama issued on March 14, 2016. He created it, allegedly to:

counter the messaging and diminish the influence of international terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al Qa’ida, and other violent extremists abroad…

Or so the Executive Order read. And indeed the vital Section 3 did concern itself exclusively with the voice of the government toward “foreign audiences,” and propaganda beginning outside our borders. But the tangled web we see today concerns how GEC turned inward, to creating a mirage of “domestic terrorism.” And not violent acts only, but “mis-, dis-, and malinformation,” which is the brief of CISA. (See “State actors – for real.”)

In a preview article he published to Substack, Mr. Taibbi blames Obama for setting the current censorship regime in motion.

Whether by malfunction or design, this abrupt course change of Washington’s contracting supertanker would have dramatic consequences. In fact, the tale of how America’s information warfare mechanism turned inward, against “threats” in our own population, might someday be remembered as the story of our time, with collective panic over “disinfo” defining this generation in much the same way the Red Scare defined the culture of the fifties.

CNAV’s official position is that the turning-inward of “America’s information warfare mechanism” was by design. The Trojan Horse works by leveraging greed and fear, which is what GEC did and does. We’ll have more to say on that in our Analysis below.

The thread

Herewith the thread, beginning with the anchor tweet, continuing with the odd numbers, and finishing with the last tweet.

To provide context for some of the statements in this thread, CNAV has found the link to DFRLab.

The “India Accounts List” turned out to be too big to load from Google Documents. So Mr. Taibbi deleted Tweet #6 and uploaded the list to Dropbox. You can find it at this link:

After dropping the thread, Mr. Taibbi dropped this tweet linking to another Substack piece.

This piece lies behind a paywall, but the introductory text ends with these paragraphs:

The original concept of the GEC was to gather pros from this world, who’d put their heads together and come up with kinder, gentler ways of “disrupting” ISIS propaganda. From the point of view of the Pentagon, which paid most of GEC’s original budget, it was a no-lose play: spending $70-$80 million a year was worth it if it meant even one fewer death in the field, be it of a U.S. soldier or a bystander to a drone strike.

Then 2016 happened, and GEC’s mission changed on a dime.

Which is exactly the point – or is it?


Reaction to this thread, like that to all the Twitter Files threads, varies from “Wow!” to “Grrr!” to “Trumpus quoque!” In the “Grrr!” category come tweets like these:

One person warned that the legacy media would not receive this latest drop well, if they commented at all.

Another person quoted a nasty proverb from an even nastier operator during the Second World War:

When another user asked why anyone would use support of a political party to justify restricting an account, Taibbi replied:

In the “Trumpus Quoque” category comes a bald assertion that “Republicans did it, too.” To which another user replies:

Along that same line, someone challenged Taibbi to testify under oath about Trump doing it, too. Taibbi replied thus:

Someone challenged him on a tweet in an earlier Twitter Files thread saying “Both parties had access to these tools.” Taibbi replied:

Taibbi also took pains to point out that no one should celebrate when the government picks on one side only. His point: a government that picks on one side, could pivot and start picking on the other side.

Another user tried to connect Taibbi’s upcoming testimony before the Weaponization Subcommittee to the abortion debate. Taibbi put paid to that one:

Analysis: GEC is the enemy of freedom

As usual, Matt Taibbi, like his colleagues at The Free Press, does a great service to the friends of liberty. He tears to tatters what certain alphabet-soup agencies have now become, and points out that some weapons are better never used and even never made. In some of his tweets, he could almost be making the case for the destruction of Sauron’s One Ring to Rule them All.

His fellow travelers don’t see it that way. They want the censorship, and want the destruction of livelihoods and lives. Nor can they conceive of anyone turning their weapons against them. “We’re going to win, and make our victory good for all time!” they seem to say. Well, if 2016 doesn’t convince them, maybe the Rumanian Christmas Revolution of 1989 might. Just saying.

Why can’t Matt Taibbi see that Barack Obama intended all along for GEC to be what it became? Because he is a liberal himself, as he freely avows. Perhaps that’s why, when he says he searched in vain for instances of Trump weaponizing the government as Biden has now done, one can believe him. Certainly he wanted to believe that Trump was just as bad as Biden – but then could find no evidence. Tellingly, he promises to say as much over the green table – and that must scare Biden and his apologists most.

Lessons from ancient history

Any student of history should have seen this coming. Consider the Varian Commission before Rome’s Social War, charged with punishing advocates for extending Roman citizenship to southern Italy. But after the Social War, the Plautian Commission had the exact opposite charge. In the exact same fashion, the January Six Committee has given way to the Weaponization Subcommittee. Only the most arrogant and pompous fools could not have seen that coming.

But some people still want to fight the war. They won’t be satisfied unless and until they can turn the United States into a prison system like the GULAG. (Or at least like the Soviet Union, which used the GULAG as its Ultimate Cellblock.) As ever, the Twitter Files brings out the worst in people.

Understand this: no one who has any concept of freedom, can support GEC. The people must make its abolition and dismantlement a campaign issue in all elections, moving forward, until it happens.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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