Intelligence Agencies and Big Tech

Intelligence Agencies and Big Tech

LewRockwell  | Dr. Jessica Ashe, MBA, MA | Special to The Kennedy Beacon

“Once a state can silence its critics, it is one step away from totalitarianism,” presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy Jr. concluded at the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Government hearing last week.

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Those dangers are quietly becoming palpable in the United States. People who have been trained to create fake news are now curating what you see on Facebook and Google. Beyond that, they are able to tell you what is or isn’t “misinformation.”

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, seems to have a revolving door with US governmental agencies. Where Facebook begins and the government ends is difficult to discern. Amarpreet Ghuman is in charge of Product Integrity for Meta, but he was an FBI analyst for over 5 years. Aaron Berman is currently the “Lead for Elections Policies” for Meta, and he held various positions at the CIA over 17 years prior.

His LinkedIn profile boasts “Online Trust and Safety | National Security.” Am I the only person who does not want US corporations intertwined with national security?

Scott Stern was a CIA Unit Chief of Targeting before becoming Meta’s Senior Manager for Trust and Safety Risk Intelligence. Corey Ponder is the Equity and Well-Being Lead at Meta, and while his personal website does mention upfront that he was a Senior Targeting Analyst for the CIA, this fact is relegated to the second page of the “Experience” section of his LinkedIn profile.

Many of the profiles in this article obfuscate some aspect of their identity, whether it’s just a last initial with no last name or missing previous posts.

I’m just getting started.

Bryan Weisbard was the Director of Trust and Safety for YouTube before moving to Meta’s Privacy Strategy & Operations unit as their director. For nine years ending in 2015, he held multiple senior level leadership positions in the U.S. Government Intelligence Community.

Hagan Barnett is the Head of Meta’s AI Discovery and Ranking Integrity Operations. He has also worked for the US Treasury and the CIA. Cameron Harris is the Workflow Risk Project Manager for Meta and was an analyst for the CIA. David Agranovitch “led the US government’s strategy to counter foreign malign influence as Director for Intelligence at the National Security Council.” Now he is Meta’s Director for Global Threat Disruption.

Kris Rose was a political and counterterrorism analyst at the CIA before joining Meta's Oversight Board, now their Head of Governance Insights. Mike Torrey worked for the National Security Agency and the CIA before becoming Meta’s Principal Security Engineer Investigator of Threat Intelligence. Emily  Vacher is the Head of Trust and Safety for Meta, and as such is responsible for law enforcement outreach and security policy matters, among others. She used to be a member of the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CAPD) Team and held other positions with them. Mike Bradow is in charge of Misinformation for Meta. He held various posts at USAID for 10 years prior. Jeff Lazarus was first an Economic and Policy Analyst for the CIA, then a Senior Policy Analyst for Google, and now is in Strategic Response for Meta.

Jennifer G. Newstead is chief legal officer at Meta, overseeing all global legal and corporate governance matters on behalf of the company. Prior to joining Meta in 2019, Newstead served in senior roles in government, most recently as the Senate-confirmed legal adviser of the US Department of State, advising on issues of domestic and international law affecting the conduct of US foreign relations. Previously, she served as general counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and as a principal deputy assistant attorney general at the US Department of Justice.

Prior to being the Director and Associate General Counsel for Cybersecurity and Investigations for Meta, Haley Chang was the Deputy General Counsel for the FBI as was Rachel Carlson Lieber, Meta’s Vice President of Legal Strategy. Can it really be a coincidence that two members of Meta’s legal team held the same exact post for the US government, prior?

There’s more.

Jeffrey Gelman is the Acting Vice President for Global Communications and Public Engagement of the Oversight Board, out of London. They ensure “respect for free expression and human rights for Facebook and Instagram.” He concurrently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, “an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank and publisher,” and as Facebook’s Policy Communications Manager. This is an agency largely under the influence of economic interest groups and therefore it shapes its policies to the benefit of those clients — i.e., it’s a captured agency. How can Gelman avoid conflicts of interest while serving on all three of these corporations and agencies at the same time?

Kevin Lewis was in the US DOJ prior to being the Chief Spokesperson for Barack and Michelle Obama; he is now in Executive Communications for Meta. Bobby Flaim is the Head of Strategic Programs for Meta and has worked for both the FBI and the Department of Defense. Erin Clancy is Meta’s Public Policy Manager, Strategic Response Policy. Concurrently, she serves as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State for the US Department of State, according to the Atlantic Council. So, this woman holds simultaneous ranking positions in a corporation and in a government office. She played a pivotal role in evacuating 400+ members of the Syrian White Helmets in 2018. She has been on the Council on Foreign Relations as well.

Over half of the above individuals live in or very close to Washington DC. Why does Meta have such a huge contingent in our nation’s capital?

This article is not the first to draw attention to potentially inappropriate links between government agencies and corporations. In July of last year, Alan MacLeoud wrote “National Security search engine: Google’s ranks are filled with CIA agents” among others. He poignantly points out that employees in the CIA create fake newspapers and plant fake news, quoting John Stockwell. In the Trumpet, earlier this year, Andrew Miller penned “Google employs 165 former intel agents in high level positions.”

We learned at the same committee meeting mentioned above that the government worked closely with Facebook and Google to scrub all evidence of Hunter Biden’s laptop story. Friends and relatives ridiculed each other for over a year if they dared to say the laptop story was real. These companies, manned with government agents, are creating strife and the vilification of fellow Americans.

I have previously written that righteousness is the solution to corruption. In this context, the truth needs to be told so that healing and reconciliation can occur, to heal the divide. When a child has an ear infection, musty water gets sealed in darkness to create puss and pain. Antibiotics cure the infection, letting fresh air in to heal the wound. Here, truth is an antibiotic.

currently serves as Assistant Director in Social Entrepreneurship at the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Ohio. She has peer-reviewed, opinion and marketing publications with a 20-year history as an international higher education specialist.

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