Don’t Listen to the Lizard People

Listen to this episode

S1: This bombing was a reminder of the destructive power of an individual or small group can muster and the need for continuing vigilance across the board.

S2: This reptilian theory, which basically says that there are individuals on planet Earth that are lizards sent here to do harm.

S3: I have now been vaccinated. As Joe likes to say, there’s a big difference between the vaccine and vaccinations. I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine, literally. This is about saving.

Advertisement

S4: Hello and welcome to Trump Cast, I’m Virginia Heffernan. You know, the early work of Spinal Tap, I’m talking about way before the big hits like Big Bottom Swell, My Love Nerve Damage. Give me some money. And tonight, I’m going to rock you tonight, OK? In 1968, Spinal Tap, where a very different group and they introduced this sweet folky number called Listen to the Flower people. Listen to these in parentheses, listen to the flower people. And it went like this, actually. Melissa, can you help me out?

S5: What the flower people say people I mean, that’s just it’s just such an awesome song, I’m sorry you have to wipe it here from my eye.

Advertisement

S4: Well, anyway, today, as we bring Trump cast to a sweet, folksy Lanting, we’re going to listen to what the lizard people say. Yes, that’s right. Tramcars superstar Molly McHugh is joining us at Tramcars to make sense, not just of the terrifying Russian solar winds attack, but the lizard people. Now, remember, the Russian solar winds attack has left our government’s digital infrastructure bugged, as if by teaming termites. But termites that are spying on our biggest agencies and can’t be got out for decades. But then there’s also the lizard people that haunt the dreams of the people who also panic about 5G, Bill Gates, aliens George Soros and, of course, the formidable kitchen sink where the cabal of Hillary Clinton assassins talks through the faucet’s with the presumed Nashville suicide bomber, Anthony Weiner, in the news for his alleged belief in dangerous. You got it lizard people and the almighty five G. It’s time to review with Molly. What’s up with American minds that seem fried by the Internet and also in some cases driven to violence toward governors, the Hoover Dam and AT&T. This show is about assessing the damage done in Trump Times to American brands, by Russians and by the American Internet and how we might get our sanity back. Molly McHugh is the cyber warfare expert and author of the highly influential newsletter Great Power at Great Power Dot Net. If you’re not subscribing already, it’s one of the best subscriptions you can get to kick off. Twenty, twenty one. Great power dot net. Molly, welcome back to Dreamcast. Hey, thanks for having me on. You know, you’re one of my favorite guests and general hourly. Interlocutor’s.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S6: Well, I hope so, yeah. As I guzzle my ninety fifth cup of coffee today.

S7: OK, good. Well I’m right there with you, especially because we have some kind of trippy topics, so it’s good that we’re in altered caffeinated states to talk about them. And those trippy topics are one, the solar winds hack and its consequences going forward and to the lizard people and the Nashville suicide bomber. So let’s start with solar winds.

S4: Is that what the name people are giving to that that hack?

S6: You know, I don’t know that there’s a unified consensus yet on what the name is going to be, because there’s like all the technical terms that are B it’s called this. It’s called a sunburst is the name they’re giving to the specific like hack. But whatever, it doesn’t matter. Solar winds was the software platform used as the vehicle for this. So I think that’s the thing that matters most to how we discuss it. Yes.

Advertisement

S4: All right. So what is it? Just top line. What is it? Because, man, there are a lot of things you could miss right now like that are going on and in our benighted republic. Yeah.

S6: So about a month ago, there was this sort of an outside security company, FireEye, which has been sort of really key to exposing a bunch of Russian and Iranian and other big sort of hacks that have been documented over the past five years or so. Sort of came out and said, hey, there’s this giant massive sweeping hacking thing that’s happened using the update platform. So a supply chain attack essentially for this big piece of software, solar winds that’s used is like a management and sort of security and observation software for four different things. So essentially what they’re saying is somebody figured out how to hack the software that you’re using to make your system more secure and which is very Russian in its in its construction design. And so at first there was no attribution given the attribution has still has now been sort of confirmed as Russia as a unit linked to the SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. I think the thing that’s new and unique about this and you’ll hear a lot of if you’re on Twitter, there’s a ton of what about, as all of us does, this, too. And it is, in fact true that many nation states and non-state actors do, in fact, infiltrate systems to observe and collect intelligence and other information. What’s different about this one is just the scope and scale of it. It’s just super indiscriminate, very widespread. There’s at least eighteen thousand sort of agencies and companies that have been compromised by this. And what that means for the most part is that, you know, a lot of people have the compromised code sort of in their systems, but Russian intelligence actors have probably only accessed that hack for a specific number. Particularly US government agencies that happen to have the stuff in their systems so that it just sort of creates this massive vulnerability that nobody really knows the extent of it yet nobody really knows what was compromised or exfiltrate it yet. And fixing it is actually incredibly difficult. It’s the kind of thing that normally what good, good tech repair people would say as they parachute in to save you is just like burn your system down and build a new one. Like just take all the compromised stuff out, reinstall everything from factory settings and start over, which obviously eighteen thousand companies are not going to do.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S8: So I think a lot of people are not. Why not, though? It’s really expensive and time intensive.

S4: I mean, if there’s like asbestos and black mold and termites, then.

S6: Yeah, but it’s the same thing that’s like with home renovation when somebody tells you, hey, you have inspectors in your ceiling, but as long as you just leave it there and don’t touch it, probably it won’t actually hurt you. Or you can do this massive two hundred thousand dollar, you know, removal process that will require you to live somewhere else for six months. You’re going to take the let’s just leave it alone option. And it’s for a lot of these companies, it will seem like that they’ll try to figure out if their systems have been accessed. If they haven’t, they’ll put the patch on. They’ll hope for the best. But that doesn’t mean that that whatever it doesn’t mean that additional access points have not been created by this malware, that there aren’t other ways into the systems. There’s new information that’s come out that said this is not just solar winds that came through other means as well. So, I mean, this is really broad in scope. And I think the problem is just trying to figure out what the parameters of it really are is massive. This has compromised at least the DHS, Department of Agriculture, some parts of DOD, I think Treasury, Commerce, a couple other US government agencies.

Advertisement

S8: I’m sure that list will grow, but really nobody knows what it means, just kind of really remote outpost, really remote outposts that don’t affect much. No, not at all. Then what does the Treasury Department matter to?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S7: We’ve talked a lot on this show, you and I have talked a lot about you on your newsletter, which is called Great Power, have talked about the Kremlin’s ends here. And if we’re coming down and that’s why I really wanted you on this show during its denouement, is you and I have talked a lot about what the Kremlin’s ends have been with this Trump operation and the operation destroy American mines or whatever it is, and destroy our associates. And we know that, you know, Putin has imperialist ambitions, that he wants to continue to expand and maybe rebuild the Soviet empire. But this seems like a particular play in the Russian move and also a use of Trump. I mean, is there a way that solar winds could not have been conducted with another president? Has Trump been looking the other way? Are there ways that he issued some invitation? Is that that what was whispered at Helsinki? And do they now have some, like, measurable control of these government agencies? You know, is this the the final success? You know, whatever this that movie is where they, like, hoist the Japanese flag over over Rockefeller Center. Is this the moment where they hoist the hammer and sickle over Washington, D.C.?

Advertisement

S6: You know, it’s an interesting question and I think thanks. Thanks for plugging my newsletter. Great power to us. And I actually have two pieces coming out looking at kind of the sweeping decade of Russian success in the space and then the prescriptive stuff for what a new administration really needs to focus on. And I think that’s really for me what this hack is. It’s just the capstone on 13 years of the Kremlin doing whatever it wants and nobody really finding a way to stop them or being very serious about stopping them. And it started very much with Putin sort of announcing in 2007 like a Russia’s back, we’re no longer focused on internal weakness, like we’re back out to screw up the world. Nobody really listened to them. There was the massive state cyber attack against Estonia in 2007 and 2008. You have the Russian invasion of Georgia onward from there and to Ukraine and Crimea and Syria and a series of other actions that the Russians have been engaged in showing sort of this new and expansive intent in the world. And it’s really easy to focus on just those wars. Right. Like just what Russia has done to realign the Middle East and to screw up Ukraine and to keep control or to try to keep control in its immediate near abroad. But this whole system of measures, including cyber hacking and cyber attacks, information warfare, economic warfare, they’re there, construction of compatriot networks and finding useful idiots in various spaces to help them with their strategic goals. So all the things that we can sort of this gray zone activity below a threshold of conflict, of open conflict. Russia has invested a ton of time, a ton of resources in figuring out how to use the space effectively in ways that we are slow to see, slow to respond to and or choose not to respond to. In the case of this particular hack, it seems to be and I would not in any way say that this is the final sort of assessment of this. It seems to be intelligence gathering. So this was about infiltrating systems, figuring out what’s going on for now as far as we can tell. And because this is the SVR and not one of the other groups, it seems to be more about, again, sort of gaining intelligence on how do we influence decision making in Washington? Who are the people we can target? What does all this mean to us? The Russians are very good at this. And the piece that they’re it’s not just that they’re good at acquiring information through whatever means, but it’s also that they still view human intelligence is incredibly important. So they don’t just like take this stuff out of the system and then put it into a database and then look at it. They then operationalize it into the human domain, send people out to specific targets to sort of influence decision making, assess what’s going on and how do we use this information to change how things are being done to find new advocates for our stuff. And they’re just really good at it. And everybody sort of says known unknowns, overblown, like it’s all magical, heebie jeebies. But like, if you actually look at what the Kremlin strategic objectives are and what they’ve achieved in the past decade, it’s very significant. And the erosion of certainty in Europe and in the United States and in the West and beyond about what needs to be done about the Kremlin instead of just normalizing what they do and finding ways to move forward and taking all the dirty money and thinking that it’s fine is really significant. And we are very far behind and understanding how this is a threat. And I think as we look forward to a new administration and how the Trump administration has tried to pivot away from having to talk about Russia at all. Has been weaving the giant China banners, China’s the great threat, China is the threat that we need to focus on. And I think the thing that we need to stay so focused on is China learns from Russia. China sees what Russia has gotten away with. They are much more cautious and deliberate and have vast, vast resources in ways that Russia does not to put behind all these things. And they’re learning from all of it and operationalizing it the same way. And we’ll do it much better and much smarter. So if we have not addressed how Russia has achieved this, why it is important and what we need to actually do about it, we will not succeed on China. And I think it’s just so important to stay focused on this as we move forward. So I think the Trump administration was like a specific weakness in that President Trump and many of the people around him found any reason not to talk about Russia as a threat, to focus on other things. It’s Iran, it’s China, it’s guys in the basement, it’s whatever. And I think that really does speak to, at the very least, a level of corruption. I think probably something much more. But this administration was particularly weak on this necessary focus and political will need it to counter the Kremlin. But that was borne out of previous years of really bad Russia policy. And I think the thing we need to understand looking forward is. Not to say Trump didn’t suck. He absolutely did, but the problem with US Russian policy is not Trump, it’s Russia. And the fact that we do not currently properly assess the Russian mindset, how it operates, how it will target us, and what we need to do about it. And we just need to approach this in an entirely different way.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S7: You’ve written a lot about how the and persuasively about how the Gustafer and cozy and fancy bear attacks on the DNC and then the subsequent revelations of what they found by WikiLeaks and The New York Times in collaboration with WikiLeaks is much less important than the larger hack on what the Oxford Internet Institute that you introduced me to calls hacking humans the huge, huge project via social media and other means and use of useful idiots to completely remake the American kind of polity and conversation and way of thinking about our neighbors and way of dividing us and even introducing the idea that we’re divided and divided along race lines. Of course, always they’ve always exploited American racism. The Russians have but gender lines and age lines, you know, and bringing back other ways of slicing and dicing us, including just old haunted ideas of, you know, who’s a socialist and who’s a, I don’t know, all kinds of things that you just thought had disappeared in mid century. And, you know, kindling a gender war can’t have been top of mind that that would come out. And it certainly has. And, you know, even up to and including me, too, with some Russians, I think talked about this, that Navalny had discovered that there were pro Wainstein kind of girls in Red Square, you know, Russians for Weinstein or whatever. I mean, those are pretty intense. And sometimes I think when people look around and think, this is not America, that’s because it’s not, you know, that’s because, like, we’ve internalized this very buggy kind of idea software. Like it’s it’s as though the solar winds attack happened to American brains. And I think you’ve written so persuasively about that. But that’s the other thing that has disabled us in really thinking about Russia. That in a weird way, because of this, you know, because of the elegance of the social media hacks and stuff, you end up having people on left and right say, well, this is Russophobia. You know, if you say that this is actually my kinship with Russian style socialism or my Soviet style socialism or my acceptance of Russian mafia tactics, to say that those things have been planted in me, it’s just Russophobia paranoia. So what are they going to be the lasting consequences of that set of hacks in addition to the solar winds?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S6: It’s such a complicated area and in particular because what everybody wants and partially media researchers and all of us who work in this area have sort of contributed to this sort of stupid forensic evidence required mentality on all of the stuff. It’s kind of like hacking. Everybody wants to see the attribution, like this particular information stream came directly from the Kremlin, and it’s because of them that X and none of it is clean and neat like that in the information domain. Right. I mean, obviously, what Russian actors, what Soviet actors have always been really good at is psychology. And they just invest way more resources into training people in the space than the rest of us do and way more resources into creating these sort of like agencies and things that are distractions that we look at that sort of distract away from the main core pieces of work. And we all chase those rabbits down different holes and sort of disappoint a lot of the time. And I think it’s so hard to look at the information domain and say any particular conspiracy stream or information stream comes directly from Russia. There’s a few where you can do that, but more so. What they’re good at is just sitting in systems, looking at our stuff, being like, hey, this is something that we could use to exploit divides, drive people crazy, and then picking these things up, developing them, amplifying them in ways that are incredibly damaging and corrosive in the United States. And they understand how they spent a lot of time figuring out how algorithms work, how you can micro target things to different groups and people. None of this is rocket science. If you can sell a vitamin with it, you can sell an idea with it. And they’re just they’re really good at doing this. I think in the Soviet period, the intelligence efforts, particularly the psychological operations, were really hampered by the fact that they were trying to promote this ideological cause, right? Yeah. Yeah. Great Communist unity of brotherhood or whatever. Bullshit. And it was a real, you know. Hollowed out real fast and everybody saw it and it was real hard to sell it and it sucked, and I think even they got bored of it after a while. And they were really good at getting various lefties to sort of take the bait and be like, yes, communist brotherhood. And everybody else was like, yeah, I’m going to go over here and eat my McDonald’s. And they don’t have that roadblock anymore. And what they’ve really embraced in the post-Soviet period, particularly under Putin, with the rise of this generation of KGB men to take over the country, many of whom were involved in illegal programs, many of whom were involved in the infiltration of Democratic and other groups, is understanding how you get into a group, reflect its own thinking, and then just twist it and subvert it in ways that are really effective. And so I think there’s been so much more investment in this in the Kremlin sort of tactically using divides and narratives and different places to really accelerate fracture within societies, whether it be US, European, whatever, in ways that we just don’t accept because it doesn’t seem to make sense. Right. Like, why on earth would the Kremlin, which depends on oil revenue to survive in many respects, fund and work with and amplify green narratives about anti fracking and all this other stuff? And yes, it’s sort of also relates to their economic interests, but it also just like digs into divides and societies in Europe. The green, like the support of the Green Movement, has been really, really effective at creating social divisions between generations in particular and so far that the far left in the far right Europe are really not that far apart. And in waves, you see this happening in the US right now. So there’s just there’s all these things where very tactically, on a very narrow line of divisive commentary, Russia will get in and figure out ways to push and amplify and exploit these things, even though it clashes with something else that they’re doing. Right. It’s this exact exact example we saw in sort of the Facebook ads, quote unquote, crap that happened during 2016 where they literally sponsored two separate political rallies facing off against each other at the same time because they fight. And I think that is such an important example of just they do not want a group, a political actor, a thing to be the victor in this information narrative. They just want to create the conflict and they’ll push anything that they think will push people toward a conflict within societies they want to weaken and within their own society truthfully. Right. And I just think people really still don’t get this.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S7: It makes me think of, you know, how like the coronavirus can kill you if your immune system is lowered, but also if it revs to high with cytokine storms. And it sort of feels like they’re just certain words. I’ve just been reading about J.K. Rowling, but, you know, her turfs or or, you know, particular strand subjects or bathrooms or whatever, that can just make us eat ourselves. You know, in addition to this, I’ve been like a lot of people because I’m so bored twiddling my thumbs, taken up chess and playing with my son. And we’ve been watching Gary Kasparov’s master class. I know he’s your colleague in some of these issues. And he likens Putin to he because he says he’s a poker player, not a chess player, but just the Russian descriptions of what’s fun about chess are very and it’s what’s fun. What gives pleasure is making Europe and they always are. The grand masters, though only recently kind of unseated in that role, is making your opponent squirm. And it’s just that’s why it’s not as fun playing computers, because computers don’t squirm. Right. It’s fun, pleasurable, creative, interesting to make a whole nation squirm.

S4: And, man, we are squirming right now when we’re not in a full cytokine storm, eating our own bodies with debates, you know, that are very exotic, just very exotic. Like when I hadn’t even heard of many of the terms of things that we now debate as if they’re existential matters them, you know, four years after some of these some of this kind of Russian propaganda and groups that you would see as allied find narcissism of small differences, then you don’t know where they came from. And why are these hills places people are willing to die on? You know, at the time that, you know, we’re we’re under attack. And, you know, you were very early on there. We are at war and this is how we need to think of it. And four years late, since you wrote that that article or three years since you wrote that article, nobody seems to think we’re under attack. We didn’t accept your argument that we were under attack or at war and just not even knowing we’re at war except with our neighbors over really arcane issues. It has been part of the what’s been so insulting and. Feeding to American minds, you know, just hearing like little fragments of propaganda come out of the mouths of people, you know, I mean, you and I compare notes with our friend Karen Schwartz on this a lot that, you know, why is someone who, you know, a lefty woman I know said out of nowhere. But Obama also wanted NATO to pay more. Right. That’s the thing on her mind is what about Islam with Obama? I mean, bizarre. Bizarre. How did and you just want to look them in the eye and say, how did these values and memes get in your mind? Like, just let’s just try to, you know, and that has been so upsetting. So, OK, one of the sets of arcana and this is to transition to our next subject. One of these bits of arcana that just makes your jaw dropped is this nexus that the seeming suicide bomber in Nashville was kind of investing, allegedly invested. And we see him. Little traces that he was invested in are the combination of 5G, you know, the new advanced network, 5G, lizard people, alien abductions and possible kind of and on adjacent chunks of language meems tropes. What the hell is my question for you?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S8: What are these things and what are the politics and what’s going on? I don’t think politics is the single piece of it.

S6: But, you know, it’s really this thing that has happened under Q and on which again is really just over two years old. So the whole thing is sort of fascinating and it’s acceleration tendencies. Yeah. Kunhardt has really just become an all embracing umbrella system of thought for all other conspiracy. So at this point it’s like if there is a conspiracy that’s loony and vaguely affiliated with the right wing in any aspect, it will somehow become a part of it. And so it’s it’s almost like a non distinct thing anymore, which is it makes it harder to kind of stuff the stuff out, but especially as you it on a sort of floundering for a purpose a bit in this while Trump has lost. So everything you have said is bullshit. But all these other conspiracies have really coalesced into seemingly cohesive holes for certain portions of the US population during coronavirus and really troubling ways. Like eight months ago, I wrote a piece for Stand Up for Public for their Diffusing Disinfo blog about how 5G and the anti lockdown covid Denyer types sort of merged and collided in Idaho in a very small community where my family lives in the mountains in Idaho. And this started very early on in it. But this like the merging of anti terrorism with this anti five g insane conspiracy stuff that sounds like something out of Star Trek, like when all the five G is turned on, the radiation will dissolve all life on Earth, or there’s like all these other competing parallel theories of why 5G is terrible. But that was being exploited very early on in different sort of conspiracy avenues. But the anti five G stuff sort of then merged with the anti covid lockdown stuff into this, like Bill Gates invented covid to make you inject yourself with a vaccine that will have some RFID tags that will somehow be related to our RF or RFID. So it’s the the little like chips in your passport that can be read by ambient scanners, essentially, unless you put them in a Faraday envelope. Yes. So it’s like none of it makes any sense. But it’s all this like it starts making sense for people who live in this information space where there’s this constant nibbling bits of of conspiracy and doubt about technology, about science, about anything the government is doing is some sort of imposition of control and oppression. And somehow covid became the thing that made sense to all of these people, like it was all a giant conspiracy from the Soros, Gates, Clinton global nexus of super power to oppress everyone with whatever. And it’s I mean, there’s no way to look at it and say, OK, I understand why these people are concerned. Right. It’s just bonkers. But it really has gained traction.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S7: Right? I mean, I was going to say there’s no economic insecurity or some kind of like like liberal humanist explanation for why it’s happening and rightly shaking her head just like, nope, there is not. But when the reason that I got interested in Anthony Weiner, aside from the obvious reasons, this is the it pretty much seems like that he was the suicide bomber in Nashville and that he was eager to blast open AT&T more than kind of shed blood. And he gave people a warning with let’s not even talk about threats to that.

S8: I think watching this is my. About, oh, OK, were you all lost, were you. Did you watch Lost? It was a lost person until the last two or three seasons. Well, yeah, because it. Yeah, but you know, the episode where what’s your face Julia is like. And so it’s like the debt but downtown is just playing over and I swear like that. Oh OK. Very smart.

S6: I could be wrong but like that’s my guess because this guy is clearly weird.

S7: Right. And what were we doing. Yeah. Well like that group ten years ago was definitely watching lost and comparing notes on it and and I mean lost is actually that’s brilliant because lost is actually a total kuhnen thing because it ends up farrago of just like conflicting something. And it was very maddening that it didn’t resolve. And that’s where we are with Q and on five G lizard people. So but one of the reason that I started thinking about him was just as a journalist, you know, we go to what’s the reporting on on a suicide bomber. And there’s a lot of worries about whether he was called a suicide bomber early on or whether there was a story about how he was a troubled individual and and if the story was told differently when the person was Muslim or not. And as I was reading that, I was I mean, I was I was kind of reading about him. I was thinking about and this goes to economic anxiety. The liberals liberal humanist tendencies of journalists are to go to his neighbors and find out, did he pay his rent on time or whatever, go to people who knew him. And the neighbors invariably said he was nice and quiet and then his golf coach from when he was in high school. And this guy is in his 60s. So, you know, in the seventies or. Yeah, something like that. His golf coach said he was very disciplined. He was kind of a nerd, whatever.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S4: Why in the world are they talking to people as though all we are are like flesh and blood and meatspace, talking to our neighbors in a segregated neighborhood when this is an I.T. guy clearly whose avatar is much more important than his kind of personality when he walks down to get the mail and runs into people walking their dogs and with no idea that, you know, he may. And they went to Facebook and found out, oh, look at that. This guy doesn’t have a profile under his own name. So surely he’s not, quote, on the Internet, right. On Facebook. So but not not going down the road to figure out where is he on what message boards, who’s interacting with on HSN, what is he or other networks I don’t even know about. And also how he fell prey to whatever led him to this AT&T bombing, which is, you know, that it’s not something that was happening in the real world. Right. And this and that was that. It’s just interesting to think about human dynamics. Is that like like it or not, lizard people are part of human dynamics more than the usual things of do you pay your rent on time and how nice you are on the street. And that, I think, is a big change. Is is a really big change.

S6: Yeah. You know, I’ll be very interested to see what more, if anything, we ever get about the sky, like, you know, because his devices have obviously been taken. And if he has social media accounts, we’ll find them. So far, nobody seems to have identified any, at least not that I’ve seen that they would say are definitely this guy. And that’s sort of what we’ve become dependent on these last few years to suss out people’s radicalization and ideology. Right. People do terrible things and we immediately look for them on social media. And then it’s, oh, look, they were posting to you and on or oh, look, they were in, you know, Anders Breivik from, you know, the crazy Swedish killings or Norwegian killings. And you can tie them into different radical groups and see sort of how they self radicalized. And when we don’t have that, then then it’s like, well, what do we know? But I think for all of us, the the that care about American radicalization, like how people conducting these types of attacks in the United States are becoming radicalized, the thing that still haunts us is Las Vegas. Right. The Las Vegas shooting and how maybe this was just some way I could do guy who decided to bring his forty eight guns to a big giant hotel and shoot a bunch of people randomly at a concert. But the why of that, we’ve never learned. Right. What was that really about? Oh yeah. Did he have an ideology or was there some manifesto that was never public? None of us know anything about that. And I think there’s so many questions about people like that. And so I’d be very curious to see what more we learn about this guy who does not seem to have been overtly propagating his views, at least as far as we know so far on social media. You know, he wasn’t like a big poster of content, as far as anyone can tell so far. So the question of where was he getting these ideas? How was he engaging in the conspiracy space? You know, was this a much more old school, Ted Kaczynski style, mostly living in his own cabin in the woods, thinking about. His own ideas guy, then he was sort of in this online space, I have many questions about this, but if what we’ve seen so far from the local reporting seems to have been very critical and what we know so far is very, very local reporters in Nashville. Yeah. Who have been able to find neighbors and whoever who will talk to them. But if he was, in fact, the guy who legitimately believed in the lizard people conspiracies and was going to the woods to hunt the alien lizard, people pretending to be humans and believed in the 5G will ruin the earth and power the lizard people conspiracy narratives, I would be very curious to know how he became engaged in those things and then continue to be a normal seeming professional in his daily life.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S9: Molly McCue is a cyber warfare expert and author of the newsletter Great Power. It’s a great power dot net and you should subscribe today. And that’s it for today’s show and all of our shows for the year. Twenty twenty. We made it through the year. And while there’s still work to be done, to put it mildly, we can do it together. Let’s dream about the year ahead on Twitter. I’m at page eighty eight and the show is at Real Dreamcast. Our show today was produced by Melissa Kaplan, also engineered by Richard Stanislaw. I’m Virginia Heffernan. Thanks for listening to Dreamcast.