The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Little to Lose for Malicious Actors’

Posted on | January 14, 2013 | 11 Comments

“Our ability to cope with deception in the Internet is poor at best. We cannot readily attribute memes to people, because in the Internet, identities are pseudonyms for influence actors we may never have met. Individuals may have multiple identities and spread memes for their own purposes ignoring any need for truth. The problem lies largely in trust relationships, which have historically been based on repeated interactions within relatively small groups of people who must live where they are. Trust building interactions and reputations based on long histories don’t exist in the same way in the Internet. There is little to lose for malicious actors.”
Fred Cohen, Ph.D., “Infuence Operations”

While doing some follow-up research on Neal Rauhauser — whose persistence as a “malicious actor” is remarkable — I became aware of Rauhauser’s familiarity with Dr. Cohen’s work. Having boasted that he should have won “Iron Troll of the Year” for his activities, Rauhauser’s persistence is not his only remarkable attribute.

There is also the fact that Neal Rauhauser is not in federal prison.

Many people have remarked about this: How is it that Neal Rauhauser can deliberately lie to federal law enforcement — sending false accusations to FBI agents — and not be prosecuted? There are basically three schools of thought on this question:

  1. Neal has highly-placed political allies in the Justice Department who effectively guarantee his immunity from prosecution;
  2. Neal has managed to deceive investigators into believing his inexhaustible supply of bullshit; or
  3. Neal is a target in an ongoing investigation and the feds are just giving him plenty of rope with which to hang himself and his associates.

Of course, #3 is the most reassuring, whereas #2 is implausible — who could ever be stupid enough to believe a word Neal says? — and #1 is almost too frightening to contemplate.

Anyway, I’ve also recently become aware of new deceptions practiced by Rauhauser, as well as some earlier deceptions I had not previously suspected, and just wanted to caution people to be very careful about anyone trying to deceive you, including by impersonation.

These “malicious actors” are a dime a dozen nowadays.


  • bet0001970

    Who could ever be stupid enough to believe a word Neal says?

    The F. B. I.

    That’s who.

  • K-Bob

    little trouble parsing that last sentence

  • Quartermaster

    The FBI is as corrupt as the rest of FedGov, and as long as what you tell them fits their narrative, you can go on forever.

  • EarlScruggs

    Well, kind of #1. Kimberlin is an arm of powerful Democrat politicians. Leahy and Biden and those guys loved him for striking a blow at Quayle even though it was all lies. Brandon Darby had it right earlier. Think about it, OWS was an arm of OFA set up to create the 99% v 1% stuff which worked. JTMP and Kimberlin crew were all ate up with OWS stuff.

    They act with impunity because they have impunity. I don’t even know if that is grammatically correct, but it is true.

  • McGehee

    who could ever be stupid enough to believe a word Neal says?

    Hoo boy. How much time you got?

  • Adjoran

    Possibility #4. Having interviewed Neal once, the FBI is convinced he is nuttier than a fruitcake and basically trashes 95% of what he sends them.

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    Looks like the sentence perhaps was going to say to ‘not be fooled’ or something similar but then got changed to ‘be very cautious’, but the ‘not’ evaded deletion.

  • K-Bob

    Seems about right. Undeleted ‘not’s are the bane of keyboard pounding writers. Usually mis-deletions render the sentence totally unintelligible, but a leftover ‘not’ can slide right on by your lying eyes.

  • Rob Crawford

    “#1 is almost too frightening to contemplate”

    And yet Occam keeps bringing us back to it.

  • Rob Crawford

    Yes — these thugs are useful to the politicians, so they are protected. If a conservative had an organization like JTMP, it would be subject to endless IRS audits and have its very own “special report” from the SPLC.