February 16, 2024 – Mike Benz to Tucker Carlson: From NATO’s perspective, the entire post-war world order would collapse unless they censored the internet

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“Foundation For Freedom Online” director Mike Benz speaks about how the Western defense and foreign policy establishment created, used, and then turned against the concept of free speech on the internet, during an interview with Tucker Carlson.

“Free speech on the internet was an instrument of statecraft almost from the privatization of the internet in 1991… Free speech was championed more than anybody by the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA cutout-NGO blob architecture as a way to support dissident groups around the world overthrow ‘authoritarian governments,’ as they were billed.”

“Essentially, internet free speech allowed insta-regime-change operations to be able to facilitate the foreign policy establishment’s State Department agenda,” Benz said. “Google is a great example of this, Google began as a DARPA grant by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were Stanford PhDs, and they got their funding as part of a joint CIA/NSA program to chart how ‘birds of a feather flock together’ online through search engine aggregation. And then one year later, they launched Google and became a military contractor quickly thereafter.”

“All of the internet free speech technology was initially created by our national security state. VPNs to hide your IP address, TOR and the dark web to be able to buy and sell goods anonymously, and encrypted chats. All these things were created as DARPA projects or joint CIA/NSA projects to be able to help intelligence-backed groups to overthrow governments that were causing problems to the Clinton administration, Bush administration, and Obama administration.”

“This plan worked magically from about 1991 to about 2014 when there began to be an about-face on internet freedom and its utility.”

“The highwater mark of the internet free speech movement was the Arab Spring in 2011-2012, when you had one by one all of the adversary governments of the Obama administration — Egypt, Tunisia — all began to be toppled in Facebook revolutions, Twitter revolutions. You had the State Department working very closely with the social media companies to be able to keep social media online during the periods.”

“In 2014, after the coup in Ukraine, there was an unexpected countercoup where Crimea and the Donbas broke away with essentially a military backstop that NATO was highly unprepared for at the time,” he said. “They had one last hail-mary chance that was the Crimea annexation vote in 2014, and when the hearts and minds of the people of Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation, that was the last straw for the concept of free speech on the internet in the eyes of NATO. They saw the fundamental nature of war change at that moment.”

“NATO, at that point, declared something called the Gerasimov Doctrine… that the fundamental nature of war has changed, you don’t need to win military skirmishes to take over Central and Eastern Europe, all you need to do is control the media and social media ecosystem because that is what controls elections. And if you get the right administration into power, they control the military. So it is infinitely cheaper than a military war to simply conduct an organized political influence operation over social media and legacy media,” he continued.

“An industry had been created spanning the Pentagon, the British MOD, and Brussels into an organized political warfare outfit infrastructure created initially in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe to create ‘psychological buffer zones,'” he said. “To create the ability to have the military work with social media companies to censor Russian propaganda or to censor domestic right-wing populist groups in Europe who were rising in political power at the time because of the migrant crisis.”

“When Brexit happened in 2016, it was this crisis moment where suddenly they didn’t just have to worry about Central and Eastern Europe anymore, it was coming West — this idea of Russian control over hearts and minds.”

“Brexit was June 2016, the very next month at the Warsaw Conference, NATO formally amended it charter to expressly commit to hybrid warfare as this new NATO capacity. They went from basically 70 years of tanks to this explicit capacity building for censoring tweets that they deemed to be Russian proxies. And again, it is not just Russian propaganda. These are not Brexit groups, groups like Matteo Salvini in Italy, Greece, Germany, or Spain with the Vox Party.”

“At the time, NATO was publishing white papers saying the biggest threat NATO faces is not an invasion from Russia, it is losing domestic elections across Europe to all these right-wing populist groups, who because they were mostly working-class movements, were campaigning for cheap Russian energy at a time when the U.S. was pressuring this energy diversification policy. They made the argument after Brexit that the entire ‘rules-based international order’ would collapse unless the military took control over the media.”

“So NATO would be killed without a single bullet being fired, and without NATO there i no enforcement arm for the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, so now the financial stakeholders who depend on the battering ram of the national security state would basically be helpless against governments around the world.”

“From their perspective, if the military did not begin to censor the internet, all of the democratic institutions and infrastructure that gave rise to the modern world after World War Two would collapse.” (RealClearPolitics, 2/16/2024) (Archive) (Foundation For Freedom Online)

Mr. Benz also spoke to New Founding on February 7, 2024: