Musk Advisor David Sacks States Elon Musk Had "No Idea" the Level of Government Control and Influence Over Twitter Platform Prior to Purchase - The Last Refuge
David Sacks is a key advisor to Elon Musk and one of the principle aides to Musk during the purchase and subsequent takeover of Twitter by the billionaire entrepreneur.
There has been an ongoing debate about whether Elon Musk was aware of the U.S. government and intelligence community control over Twitter prior to the purchase, with many people saying there is no way that Musk could not know given the scale of the money involved, $42 billion and the due diligence that generally follows such transactions.
However, in this interview David Sacks explicitly states Mr. Musk had no idea how much operations control and influence the government and intelligence apparatus held over the platform prior to the purchase. [Video prompted to 06:15 segment]
If Sacks is delivering an accurate assessment of the situation, then taking the issue one step further, it stands to reason that Musk has no idea what the core algorithmic code built into the platform actually consists of. Additionally, as CTH has long outlined, then Musk has no idea about the data-processing subsidy arrangement that exists on the platform as an outcome of the partnership.
Readers here are so far ahead of the curve on this story, it’s kind of cool, funny, and yet frustrating at the same time. Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop is all a wild conspiracy theory born from the oddly wired brain of some dude in the corner of the internet; until suddenly it’s not.
Factually, it has been staring at everyone since the operation began in 2011, yet no one was willing to believe it. Apparently, Elon Musk is starting to realize what is inside the communication platform he purchased.
For several years, CTH has been outlining the relationship between DHS and social media. Currently, the headlines are filled with stories about Twitter and revelations of censorship and government influence coming from the purchase of the platform by Elon Musk. However, as I said from the outset of this new moment, I promise you things are not what they seem.
As noted earlier, and it is worth repeating, let me put some context to the dynamic that will hopefully clarify what is going on, and perhaps the context will help explain what you are seeing and what you are not seeing as this unfolds. There are going to be a lot of citations to fill in the details, and understanding the modern Fourth Branch of Government is critical.
♦ Elevator Speech: Twitter was/is to the U.S. government as TikTok is to China. The overarching dynamic is the need to control public perceptions and opinions. DHS has been in ever increasing control of Twitter since the public-private partnership was formed in 2011/2012. Jack Dorsey lost control and became owner emeritus; arguably, Elon Musk had no idea.
To explain the background activity of Twitter in a way that readers could understand, I used the metaphor of Twitter as Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop.
…”The metaphorical Jack had a great idea, open a coffee shop where the beverages were free and use internal advertising as the income subsidy to operate the business. Crowds came for the free coffee, comfy couches, fellowship, conversation and enjoyment.
It didn’t matter where Jack got the coffee, how he paid for it, or didn’t, or what product advertising the customers would be exposed to while there. Few people thought about such things. Curiously, it didn’t matter what size the crowd was; in the backroom of Jack’s Coffee Shop they were able to generate massive amounts of never-ending free coffee at extreme scales.
Over time, using the justification of parking lot capacity and township regulations, not everyone would be able to park and enter. Guards were placed at the entrance to pre-screen customers. Some were denied. A debate began.”…
Here’s what happened….
In/around 2011 and 2012 the U.S. Government, Obama administration and the U.S. State Dept., came into Jack’s Coffee Shop and asked him for help.
The govt officials needed to deliver massive amounts of coffee to their allies in Egypt, Libya and the middle east to support the Arab Spring party. Jack told the officials he was willing to help but didn’t have the capacity to deliver on that scale. The officials told Jack not to worry, they would handle that aspect – he just needed to agree to the partnership and let them utilize his business. Jack agreed.
[Note, the timing here is not accidental. The operational agreement happened at the same time DHS was fine tuning the domestic surveillance systems to monitor social media platforms and target political opposition. See The Fourth Branch.]
Over the next several weeks, months and eventually years, Jack watched as hundreds of new employees flooded into the business to facilitate the rapid expansion. Along with a myriad of new faces, new equipment was delivered, and soon Jack found himself looking at heavy industrial equipment erecting large buildings in the back lots of the property. Coffee urns were replaced with massive industrial coffee delivery systems that far exceeded anything Jack ever imagined.
Business was booming, but slowly Jack realized he had lost control. Jack was riding a dragon.
As the years progressed, thousands of new employees moved into the offices of the new buildings and massive pipelines were producing incredible scales of coffee. Jack noted offices of the United Nations Human Rights Commission were now creating unique blends of coffee for international distribution, and the European Commission had an entire suite of specially trained coffee production engineers creating alternate combinations and flavors.
By 2018, Jack had essentially become an “owner emeritus”; his name was on the shingle, but the day-to-day operation of Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop had turned into an industrial park complex.
Jack saw his personal wealth attached to the success of the business, but operationally, his only responsibility was traveling to symposiums and venues where he would stand on stage and wax philosophically about the future of a coffee delivery organization he no longer controlled. Day-to-day operations were now controlled by experts in the scale of massive industrial coffee. Those experts came from the Dept of Homeland Security.
[The Intercept] – […] Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.
“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February.
In a March meeting, Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned that the threat of subversive information on social media could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow, according to notes of the discussion attended by senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase, stressed that “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.” (read more)
To streamline the operational efficiencies as the industrial coffee system grew, direct portals between the Washington DC government offices and Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop were created. Officials no longer needed to travel to the location of Jack’s Coffee Shop in order to operate the valves, mixers, grinders and systems to generate the scale of blends being produced.
Experts could now use direct portals to the facility to operate the coffee production systems remotely, with a limited number of specially trained (FBI) coffee engineers doing the laborious tasks and maintenance at the facility.
The badges were intimidating to Jack who went to sleep every night under the realization he no longer had any clue about how the coffee shop communication business was operating.
[…] The extent to which the DHS initiatives affect Americans’ daily social feeds is unclear. During the 2020 election, the government flagged numerous posts as suspicious, many of which were then taken down, documents cited in the Missouri attorney general’s lawsuit disclosed. And a 2021 report by the Election Integrity Partnership at Stanford University found that of nearly 4,800 flagged items, technology platforms took action on 35 percent — either removing, labeling, or soft-blocking speech, meaning the users were only able to view content after bypassing a warning screen. The research was done “in consultation with CISA,” the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Prior to the 2020 election, tech companies including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Discord, Wikipedia, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Verizon Media met on a monthly basis with the FBI, CISA, and other government representatives. According to NBC News, the meetings were part of an initiative, still ongoing, between the private sector and government to discuss how firms would handle misinformation during the election. (keep reading)
After several years of increasing distance from the Coffee Shop operation he initially started, eventually Jack decided it was silly to own an industrial coffee delivery system that he didn’t control. So, Jack decided to sell his shingle to someone else.
Enter, Elon Musk.
Billionaire Elon Musk, a man intimately familiar with large industrial systems and government, had been watching the disgruntled visitors to Jack’s Coffee Shop who were no longer permitted to enter. Musk saw an inequity between the amount of coffee that was available, and the scarcity of the coffee amid a community blacklisted by the operational executives and managers of the shop.
With expressions of both interest and fellowship, Mr. Elon Musk told Mr. Jack Dorsey he would take ownership of Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop and remove any discriminatory guards that were now controlling permitted entry. Jack had no aversion to Elon and eventually a deal was brokered.
After the transfer of sale was complete, Mr. Musk fired many of the guards and then set about checking the payroll to identify which group of shop employees were actually involved in the generation of coffee, and which employees were involved in promotion of the industrial coffee delivery system that were no longer needed.
Within this process, Elon Musk begins to discover the complex nature of what, at least at the surface, appeared to be an uncomplicated coffee shop. Why is there a 500-room glass walled office building on the backside of the coffee shop? What is going on in that GEC building that has anything to do with selling domestic coffee?
The sunlight revelations began surfacing a few months ago when someone of reasonably intelligent curiosity finally asked Elon Musk the right question about this direct portal from DHS into the coffee shop. How Mr. Musk replied might surprise you.
You see, the Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop metaphor is evidenced in the Musk response.
Twitter owner Elon Musk has no idea that a DHS portal into the coffee shop existed and what it would be for. WATCH:
To put it in brutally honest terms, the State Dept initially created the partnership between the U.S. government and Twitter (Arab Spring). However, when the operations needed to become domestically centered (post Trump election), another agency stepped in…. The United States Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) is the operating system running in the background of Twitter.
You can debate whether Elon Musk honestly didn’t know all this before purchasing Twitter from his good friend Jack Dorsey, and/or what the scenario of owner/operator motive actually is. Decide for yourself, but with public statements it genuinely looks like Musk didn’t know.
Musk advisor David Sacks specifically states Elon Musk had no idea. However, regardless of foreknowledge, I feel confident the conflicting and odd datapoints only reconcile in one direction. The State Dept started it with GEC, but ultimately DHS, via CISA, controlled Twitter.
Wittingly or unwittingly (you decide) Elon Musk is now the face of a quasi govt controlled enterprise.
If you concur with my researched assessment, then what you see being released by Elon Musk in the Twitter Files is actually a filtered outcome as a result of this new ownership dynamic.
Put simply, DHS stakeholders, to include the DOJ, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), are mitigating any consequential public exposure of their domestic surveillance activity by controlling and feeding Mr. Musk selected information about their prior Twitter operations. DHS is still the ghost in the machine.
The larger objective of U.S. involvement in social media has always been monitoring and surveillance of the public conversation, and then ultimately controlling and influencing public opinion.
Mr. Elon Musk and his team are combing through millions of lines of algorithmic code, trying to find that “fundamental part” that will deliver their own ‘ah-ha’ moment. Until then, we keep watching and smiling…