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Former Navy SEALS are embracing new far right-wing conspiracies — and the consequences could be lethal: report

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Stock photograph depicting a Navy special forces operator. (Shutterstock.com)

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast profiled former Special Forces troops who are gravitating towards the QAnon conspiracy theory movement — and the danger it poses.

“The larger online conspiracy community is sprawling—the top QAnon groups on Facebook, alone, count more than 3 million combined members, according to an internal Facebook investigation, NBC News reported last week,” wrote Kelly Weill. “These theories sometimes overlap in membership, and encompass millions of other people, spanning a range of false claims like that vaccines cause autism to the idea that the world is flat. In a group that large, some will almost inevitably be military or veterans. But QAnon and related conspiracy theories like Pizzagate (both of which baselessly accuse Democrats of child abuse) seem to have an unusually high incidence among ex-SEALs. And some retired SEALs have been vocal in more explicit support for QAnon in particular, even if they have not been tied to the scene of alleged protest-related violence.”

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One such veteran, said the report, is ex-Navy SEAL Stephen Ralston, who served on SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One and SEAL Team Three and now works as a private military contractor.

“On the Instagram for that podcast, and on his own Instagram feed, Ralston frequently uses QAnon hashtags, promotes Q videos, and posts about his interest in killing pedophiles,” said the report. “Some of the Instagram memes specifically frame elite military as a force for ‘Q,’ the anonymous forum poster behind the conspiracy theory. One typical example, a picture that calls special operatives ‘the teeth of the light,’ promises that thousands of specially trained veterans are willing to use their skills if QAnon’s claims are validated. ‘If any of the claims prove accurate, justice will be served one way or the other,’ the caption reads, in part. ‘We don’t forgive. We don’t forget.'”

“Ralston, who has not been accused of any conspiracy-related violence, told The Daily Beast he was unsure of QAnon’s popularity with former SEALs or any other group, and declined to otherwise comment for this story,” said the report.

QAnon promotes the idea that President Donald Trump’s enemies are running a world-spanning cabal of Satanic pedophiles, and that the president is working behind the scenes to take it down — with mass arrests and martial law imminent. It has already been linked to acts of political violence, and the FBI considers it a potential source of domestic terrorism.


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Pro-Trump internet trolls tried to hijack Nickelodeon’s kid’s survey on who should be president — and failed

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On Tuesday, Nickelodeon hosted its "Kids Pick The President" straw poll, in which young viewers of the network give their own opinion on who should win the presidential election. The poll has no electoral significance, given that kids cannot vote and given that the survey methodology is not scientific and lets anyone opt in regardless of how it balances the sample.

Despite this, pro-Trump internet trolls reportedly sought to hijack the results, spreading the message to get people to flood the poll with votes for President Donald Trump.

In the end, however, they couldn't even do it. Joe Biden won the poll, 53 percent to 47 percent.

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2020 Election

Wisconsin sees ‘nightmare scenario’ of COVID cases — as Trump ignores medical advice for campaign rally

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Wisconsin residents saw a “nightmare scenario” situation unfold Tuesday as 5,262 COVID-19 cases rocked the state, resulting in 64 deaths as President Donald Trump held a large campaign rally with few masks and zero social distancing.

"This is no longer a slow-motion disaster," said Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "This is a disaster in warp speed. And it's maddening to me as a physician because a whole lot of people have died and are dying."

https://twitter.com/MJSphotog/status/1321224234270625794

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state Department of Health Services reported 5,262 new cases and 64 deaths Tuesday, both records far above any previous daily counts. The death toll now stands at 1,852.

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2020 Election

Trump’s website hacked and defaced to stop the ‘fake-news’ spread by the president: report

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President Donald Trump's website appeared to have been briefly hacked on Tuesday -- one week before the 2020 presidential campaign.

Visitors to the site briefly saw a fake DOJ takedown notice.

"This site was seized," the message read. "The world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded (sic) by President Donald J. Trump."

"It is time to allow the world to know the truth," the message continued.

The message also claimed "secret conversations" prove the Trump administration "is involved in the origin of the coronavirus."

There is no evidence that is the case, experts believe the virus originated in China.

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