We were watching the Iowa Caucuses on Fox News, when Fox borrowed a report from CNN claiming that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race.
The news didn’t make any sense at all. Why would someone who was in the very comfortable position of 4th place drop out? Fox did its due diligence and as fast as you could tweet “conspiracy” they returned to say that he was simply physically leaving Iowa ahead of the final votes to return home to get a change of clothes before returning to the campaign trail.
Ben Carson was understandably upset and demanded, politely, that Cruz apologize, which he did. The next day, Ted Cruz’ campaign and CNN were blamed for the misinformation and misleading reporting. Well, that’s why we watch Fox, not CNN.
The rumors began with a 140-character Twitter post, which notoriously does not leave a lot of room for detail. Why did Carson’s team post such a tweet, which could easily be misconstrued, in the first place? If he was leaving, Carson himself should have made a formal, public announcement to his supporters, reassuring him that he was not abandoning them.
But Carson isn’t to blame for this. Neither is Ted Cruz, exactly. One can’t help wondering whether he vetted his campaign manager properly. According to Impulse Today, the following is campaign manager Dan Gabriel’s background:
“Dan Gabriel is the founder of Applied Memetics, LLC and also happens to be an ex-CIA counter terrorism officer. His company has been hired by the U.S. Army in the past, and he has ties to George Soros, although somewhat distant.
“Applied Memetics IP address also runs on same server as a Hungarian NGO business… company that just happens to have Soros and other shady characters on the board of [directors]. There is also a ‘national security’ provider tied to U.S. government that uses [the] same telephone number as Applied Memetics.
“The company specializes in SIGINT, online shilling, and what might be called propaganda. Gabriel was the one who pushed the angle that Carson was dropping out. After being caught, [Gabriel] deleted the tweets and denied everything. However, other twitter users took a screenshot and saved his tweets and their exchange.
7:00 P.M. Ted Cruz 2016: CNN is reporting that Ben Carson will stop campaigning after Iowa. Make sure to tell all of your peers at the caucus supporting Carson that they should coalesce around the true conservative who will be in the race for the long haul: TED CRUZ!
7:07 P.M. Dan Gabriel@danpgabriel: Source inside Ben #Carson’s NH campaign just CONFIRMED to me: @RealBenCarson is OUT >>>#Choose Cruz
Time N/A: Dan Gabriel@danpgabriel: We’ve been TRUMPED: Speaker for #Trump campaign at this #Urbandale caucus cite CNN, pushes #Carson OUT story #SHAME.
Time N/A: Dan Gabriel@danpgabriel: #Carson still in! What a nasty PSYOP >Say no to #Trump
Reply: Jason Osborne@Jmhosborne: @RealBenCarson will be going to Florida to get fresh clothes b4 heading back out on the campaign trail. Not standing down.
It seems a bit odd that Carson would be going to Florida to pick up clothes to campaign in New Hampshire…but what the heck.
Time N/A: Dan Gabriel@danpgabriel: DIRTY TRICKS! #Trump campaign started #Carson rumor?? Odd.
Reply toddstarnes@toddstarnes: Team Carson tells me they are NOT taking a break from campaign. He’s off to DC, NC, NH and SC after a brief stop in FL.
By the next, the Twitterverse was on fire and voters were thoroughly confused.
BigFry Social Media@BigFryMedia: ATTENTION TRUMP SUPPORTERS Cruz adviser@danpgabriel been caught in a dirty trick lying about Carson then blaming Trump. Block him & RT! (ReTweet)
A Twitter user then exposed Gabriel of his lie with a screenshot of Gabriel tweeting out Carson “dropping out” of the race.
“LIAR! You did it, then DELETED the tweet when a Trump supporter screen shot it. You vile piece of sh*t!” an angry twitter user fired back at Gabriel.
Another twitter user also blasted Gabriel for his blatant deception. “You are the liar! I’m the one that screen shot your account earlier. Sucks doesn’t it. I have the original.”
Gabriel’s response: Sure, but why re-tweet/re-post false information that was taken down? To slander @realbencarson?
This is Applied Memetics mission statement: “Applied Memetics LLC is focused solely on developing engineered influence for clients seeking to alter their tactical or strategic operational environments. Innovation and cultural proficiency set us apart from competitors. From new media to traditional media to dynamic engineering of social networks: we exploit and leverage perceptions to create new realities on the ground.”
“Exploit and leverage perceptions to create new realities on the ground”?
Wow. Are they kidding? Impulse Today levels a rather heavy, yet ambiguous charge of being “distantly” connected to George Soros at him, one that can’t be substantiated, not even through Muckety Muck, which usually connects everybody to everyone. Neither Dan P. Gabriel nor Applied Memetics appears on the Muckety Muck search, though AM does exist.
Did Ted Cruz even read AM’s mission statement? That should have been a clue right there. At the very least, he should fire the guy immediately. That’s going to mean yet another, “I didn’t know” from Ted. He can’t keep accumulating those “I didn’t knows” and still hold onto the lead.
He wouldn’t be the first politician to be sandbagged by a campaign manager or a staffer. Karl Rove worked on Ralph Tyler Smith‘s unsuccessful 1970 re-election campaign for Senate from Illinois against Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson III.
In the fall of 1970, Rove used a false identity to enter the campaign office of Democrat Alan J. Dixon, who was running for Treasurer of Illinois. He stole 1000 sheets of paper with campaign letterhead, printed fake campaign rally fliers promising “free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing,” and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters, with the effect of disrupting Dixon’s rally. (Dixon eventually won the election). Rove’s role would not become publicly known until August 1973 when Rove told the Dallas Morning News.
In 1999 he said, “It was a youthful prank at the age of 19 and I regret it.”
Gabriel was a former operations assistant at CNN before he joined the CIA. Working for the CIA, he created a network of ten Cuban journalists to counter the communist propaganda of the Castro regime. That would explain Cruz’ trust in him.
He also worked as a freelance reporter for the Washington Times before joining the CIA. Gabriel was also an aide, researcher and New Hampshire political director for conservative politician Patrick Buchanan from 1996 to 2000.
Gabriel was even an Eagle Scout. Huh.
So how does this guy go from Eagle Scout to freedom-fighter to a free Cuban press organizer to Conservative campaign manager to false tweeter?
Something doesn’t add up here. What was really going on? Was it dirty politics? Why would the lead guy’s campaign manager tweet false information then blame the bad info on another campaign, which ultimately would reflect badly on his guy? Did this guy overreact to the Carson news and come to the wrong conclusion? Was Gabriel set up by yet another party, maybe some Democrat operative who’d weaseled their way into the Republican caucuses?
Or was it just sheer stupidity?
We hope legitimate, responsible news organizations or pundits can shed more light on this baffling set of circumstances and help put it to rest.
As for the Twitter-brains out there: Think b4 u tweet!