I invite you to watch the following "commercial" all the way through, watch it two or three times and then come back to see what I say below.
(There is a backup here in case the one above is unavailable)
What did you see? Most that pay attention already knew that government agencies perform this sort of work but what is unique about this video? Just a few short years ago if someone working in the field, in the US military, had made a similar video they would have been court-marshaled, or at the least stripped of their clearance and moved to more mundane tasks.
What you should have seen is the USG telling you that the entire information domain is at their disposal and that essentially the origin of all thought, ideas, movements, and trends are within their grasp. To say it so boldly in a recruiting/saber-rattling video simply means that someone did the calculus and deduced that it simply does not matter if they say the quiet parts out loud; nobody will care and very few will understand the implications. It means simply that Truth is Powerless.
I wrote that in 2021, that Truth is Powerless, as I reflected back on what Julian Assange and Edward Snowden did and did not accomplish. They provided solid facts, data that in normal times, in places in the past would have led to angry mods with pitchforks and torches tearing it all down. The truth they laid out was just that profound, and if we are honest and think back to what they told the public, we know what I just said is true. And yet, beyond some outrage, and a lot of hand-wringing by just a few, all of it came and went just like everything else in the news cycle. Whatever you think of either man personally, if you think back to what they risked, what they suffered, and what they told the world, it is rather amazing that none of it actually mattered.
You do not need to know all the tools, techniques, sources, methods, and doctrine involved in this to observe the reality around you. These are not empty claims in this video, the claims about shaping narratives, influencing outcomes, and ultimately having the capability to provide the inputs of thought for multiple sides in any conflict or issue. They are not talking about a mere Madison Avenue advertising campaign designed to maybe encourage you to buy an idea, they mean controlling the material that goes into forming ideas in the first place. You already know this because you can observe reactions and counter-reactions, and the effects.
Will anyone (as in enough) actually care that part of your government has told them that they own the information space, can pull the strings, and influence the outcome of history? Are there any among us, left or right, that still believe that the government is a moral agent? Yes, some still think they can use the power of the government to enforce their version of morality, but seriously, who among us does not see the tragic flaw in that reasoning?
Oh, but we need this because of Russia, some might say. I would ask, how do you even know that your firmly held opinion about Russia is accurate, even a small bit? How can you not be certain that your opinion was not formed by a massive information operation? I mean if they all sing the same song....
If you are a "seeker of truth" how can you be so certain that many of the rabbit trails you follow are not intentional red herrings? If you consider yourself a critically-thinking rationalist that parses your own information what sources do you turn to? I can tell you, and have, that all of the alternative sources have a glowy reflection to them. I have not come across a single person with any level of reach that does not have something shadowy near them. We all know the Q was one of the largest information operations ever run on Americans, but now we see former Q boosters appearing across the spectrum, I notice even lew Rockwell is hosting them. Where do you get this untainted information if you believe yourself immune to all of this?
I will not preach. You will see and understand the implications of this or you will not. Hopium is not a strategy and believing that there is someone with a voice that is immune to this out outside of the reach of its influence, you are merely deluding yourself. They told you, in your face, because neither the truth nor you matter.
It would be hubris for your to know that the ocean is filled with salt, but believe that you are smart enough to swim in the ocean and not get salty. How much harder to find information anywhere, other than perhaps long ago written tomes, that is not itself "salty"? Our reason, discernment, and wisdom can help us, but the more confidence we have in them, the more sure we are that we are smart enough not to be deceived, and the easier targets we become.
The smartest among us would at this point fall back on the "whiff test". A wise person would understand the nature of our reality, and who and what shapes it; people, organizations, and entities that intentionally convolute, deceive, and manipulate. Such a person would guard their emotions, preventing artificially triggered reactions. They would understand the futility of trying to "get to the bottom" of events outside of their direct observation. They would withhold trust from people and organizations outside of the reach of their little circle. They would settle on the knowledge that there remains to us just a few truths that we can know with certainty, and that all else is but a performance on a global stage. Such a person would sit ensconced on those few absolute and universal truths they can know and smell everything else that comes along with a nose attuned to the nature of the thing and those truths. The smartest among us are not engaging on social media and they are certainly not writing articles in naive attempts to tell the world how pointless such activities are. I wish I had been such a smart and wise person long ago; a lot of effort, energy, and emotion might have been spared for other endeavors!
I am sorry to be Debbie Downer, but dismiss my assessment at your own peril. There are a lot of people playing right into the hands of another phase of the operation, raising the temperature, saying imprudent things online, and setting themselves and the causes and groups they represent up for a fall. These truly are the times that try men's souls.
Last Minor Thought
There is something else you may have noticed. The video itself is screwing with your head and your understanding of reality about the organization that produced it and the people that choose to do the work. On one hand, we observe the egotism and narcissism that accompanies power (screwing entire groups of people in the head as if they were simple children is certainly powerful). We even see something of the creator's worst fears on display; "I may be skinny and weird but I am cooler than the 'cool' guys". Perhaps that last is not immediately evident, but it is glaringly clear if you know. I am always concerned when I observe people with obvious and pronounced weaknesses wielding power. Finally, if you did not notice, this video is a plea to be associated with the heroes of the creators, the CIA. The CIA does what this group does, but it is a varsity versus JV team comparison - however, we can see something of the mind of the CIA culture even here if we look, it is not apples and oranges.
Think about it!