Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Unselfconscious Nakedness of the Military Industrial Congressional Establishment...,


Counterpunch |  Beals isn’t the only candidate for NY-19’s Democratic nomination with ties to the Iraq War and the intelligence establishment. Patrick Ryan, who served two tours in Iraq as an intelligence officer after graduating from West Point, is also running in the primary against Beals.

As The Intercept reported in February 2018:
“Seven years ago, Ryan, then working at a firm called Berico Technologies, compiled a plan to create a real-time surveillance operation of left-wing groups and labor unions… The pitch, a joint venture with a now-defunct company called HBGary Federal and the Peter Thiel-backed company Palantir Technologies, however, crumbled in 2011 after it was exposed in a series of news reports.
Years later, Ryan pivoted to a startup called Dataminr, a data analytics company that provided social media monitoring solutions for law enforcement clients. Dataminr, which received financial support from the CIA’s venture capital arm, produced real-time updates about activists for law enforcement. For example, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of California and reported by The Intercept for the first time, Dataminr helped track social media posts relating to Black Lives Matter.”
Interestingly, Ryan has gone the traditional fundraising route, and is orders of magnitude more flush with cash than Beals ($900,000 as of the end of 2017 versus Beals’ $174,000). In a sense, these are two very similar, odious candidates following two divergent campaign models utilizing different elements of the Democratic Party machine.

Ryan is backed by right-wing elements of the Democratic Party, as evidenced by his receiving support from the New Democrat Coalition PAC, a conservative, pro-business element of the party. In contrast, Beals doesn’t have such overt institutional support, and is instead handled by a Clinton surrogate who actively discourages large-scale fundraising as part of his strategy to build up his candidate as the true voice of the grassroots.

As such, Beals is attempting to craft an image as a progressive who stands in contrast to the Blue Dog conservatism of Ryan. What can you call this farce? It is the primary equivalent of professional wrestling. A rigged game.

Beals and Ryan represent a disturbing trend taking place across the country: intelligence insiders and military officers running as Democrats in an election year that expects to see triumphs for Democrats in reaction to the Trump shit show.

The World Socialist Website’s Patrick Martin has compiled a rather exhaustive list of other candidates who fall into this trend as well, including, but not limited to: