It’s All About Climate Change, Man!

Satyricon 2019

This year’s Google Camp will be hosting a summit with the biggest names in show biz, politics, high-tech, music, and fashion. It will include notables such as former President ObamaLeonardo DiCaprio, Prince Harry, Orlando Bloom, Harry Styles, Bradley Cooper, Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra, Gayle King, Mark Zuckerberg, Diane von Furstenberg, Katy Perry, and many others. 

The event is taking place at the 5-star Verdure resort in Sicily. Due to the high prestige and number of guests, the hotel is fully booked, and room prices start at $930 per night.

The all-expenses-paid, three-day event hosted by Google, will cost about $20 million which comes to about $33K per person, per day. The estimated 120-200 participants will discuss urgent global issues such as on-line user data privacy, freedom of speech, and global warming. The main focus of the event will be climate change, which, according to several of the attending subject-matter experts is the biggest threat to the world and our future generations.

The guests will be arriving at the event over the next 12 hours in 116 private jets and the world’s largest private megayachts. The estimated combined carbon footprint output from the resort activity and travel to and from the three-day event will be equivalent to the yearly carbon production of over 900K US households.

A Flight and a Dinner
Image 1: A dinner and a show at the Temple of Hera and private jets delivering the summit attendees

In the spirit of openness, Google went the extra mile to keep all resort activity a secret—all support, hotel, and security staff signed restrictive non-disclosure agreements prohibiting them from discussing or taking any images of the events and participants.

And yes, as the video analytics reveals, the environmentally-conscious guests are using plastic straws for sipping their very expensive, Google sponsored cocktails.

It's All About the Climate Man
Image 2: The Carbon footprint of David Geffen and Katy Perry, two of the over 140 Google climate change summit attendees

But WAIT! What did I just hear? Google doesn’t get its 260-400 million watts of energy (2-4 percent of the world’s electricity) from unicorn powered wind farms and eco-friendly solar panels? And it’s responsible for 1.5-3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, which is about 20%-40% of the internet carbon footprint?

I’m Shocked, SHOCKED To Find There’s Gambling in the Casino!

To the legions of the woke, if you haven’t caught up yet, you are looking at corporate greed incarnate. Where environmental disasters like the BP Deepwater Horizon or Union Carbide/Dow Bhopal were terrible but isolated events that could be attributed to human error or gross negligence, Google’s entire business model is based on a carefully executed global human and environmental exploitation.

Aren’t you a bit curious how is it that social media giants the likes of Google, Twitter, and Facebook spend hundreds of millions of dollars on software development, hardware, and pay astronomical electric bills for their worldwide datacenter operations, and still make billions in profit–all while offering these services for ‘free’?

At the end of the day, this whole climate change summit thingy is just a cynical PR move to hide the fact that Google can’t burn fossil fuel fast enough to power its worldwide data center expansion–which since 2016 have been working overtime to promote fake news via their ad-sense cash cow, while at the same time, destroying whatever little is left of privacy and suppressing free speech.

You can also group all of the Gretas and other ‘progressive’ campaigns and slogans with the climate rhetoric. It doesn’t really matter if it’s ‘Beef is Murder’ or some other trendy gimmick. You can be certain that if it looks good, it tastes good, or feels good, most the celebrity role models are doing/having it on a wholesale scale.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Beef
Image 3
: Leonardo DiCaprio’s important work on reducing beef consumption

So next time the likes of Google or a celebrity tells you just how important climate change is (or gives you any moral advice) and asks you to donate to their foundation, tell them that you are open to learning more about it over dinner at the all-expense-paid outing on their private jet or megayacht.

References:

XRVision Sentinel AI Platform – Face recognition, image reconstruction, and object detection
Green private jets? Don’t make me laugh
Daily emissions of cruise ships same as one million cars
Google accounts for about 40% of the internet’s carbon footprint
Google isn’t actually tackling ‘fake news’ content on its ad network
The more outrageous, the better: How ad-sense makes money for fake news sites

Copyright 2019 Yaacov Apelbaum, All Rights Reserved.

Robert Mueller’s Deflective Force Field

Robert Mueller and His Deflective Forcefield

On July 24th at 8:32 AM EST, all eyes and ears were turned to the former special counsel, the honorable Robert Mueller. Going into the hearings, the Republicans hoped to expose multiple structural cracks in the report. The Democrats, on the other hand, tried to get just one conclusive evidence of collusion and election tampering to justify impeachment.

Just like other interested citizens, I have been following the Russian collusion and DNC email hacking saga since 2016, so naturally, I expected that special counsel Mueller would address some of the key findings in the report, but alas, my hopes for insight and clarity were dashed. What promised to be simple Q&A session turned out to be a painful, 454 minute game of charades where you never got to figure out most of the answers.

At 8:54 AM, 48 minutes and 18 seconds into his sworn testimony, Robert Mueller–the consummate DC political bureaucrat–activated his industrial strength fog machine and deployed a force field deflector shield. This set in motion a reoccurring pattern of ducking, dodging, and sidestepping direct and specific questions about his pet project report.

Despite the lack of clarity in his answers and his alarming unfamiliarity with his own work (e.g. not knowing who Fusion GPS was), I found the session to be insightful and a veritable treasure trove in terms of body language, image artifacts, and audio content worthy of analysis. Special counsel Mueller spoke for about 7 hours and provided a rare opportunity to capture his conversational patterns, facial characteristics, and behavioral fingerprint when under duress while in a single continual homogeneous session–and all of this in a well lit environment in front of high resolution cameras. For image analytics, It don’t get no better than this!

A Note About Lie Detection
Nonverbal queues or AKA body language is a form of communication. It is similar to verbal communications expect that it’s done through facial expressions, gestures, touching, physical movements, posture, bling, tone, timbre, and various speech and voice characteristics. Nonverbal behavior comprises a large percent of all interpersonal communication and can provided insight into a person’s thoughts and feelings.

The theory behind the ability to detect lies from body language is that most people who are lying find it difficult to maintain physical and mental comfort under ongoing stressful questioning. The result is observable distress in their speech and appearance. This is because disguising the truth requires significant amount of left brain creative processing, that in turn, increases cognitive load as the person struggles to ‘make up’ answers to what would otherwise be fast memory recollection responses.

That said, there is no such thing as an accurate lie detector. Polygraphs or professional body language readers can sometimes spot person’s discomfort and stress as they relate to certain topics and then focus on these areas for further analysis. If the annals of polygraph testing teach us anything, it is that professional liars like Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, and Kim Philby (who ironically wrote the chapter about catching double agents), developed immunity to polygraphs.

It is also relevant to note that criminal courts usually don’t admit polygraph tests or body language reading as evidence because they are considered unreliable by academic psychologists (Christine Blasey Ford may disagree with this finding) and by scientists. In addition, the person who administers and assesses the test has a great deal of control over how it is conducted and its outcome. This, by itself, can completely skew or invalidate the results.

An Experienced Counter Intelligence Officer
When evaluating Mueller’s testimony, it is important to remember that he is a professional with years of experience in briefings and debriefings (over 80 congressional testimonies), legal depositions, interrogations, and counter intelligence work. This was evident in his testimony. With a few exceptions, he avoided taking the bait from hostile questioners’ and utilized common counter-interrogation techniques such as draining the clock by asking for questions to be repeated (18 times), requesting the speaker to cite and point to the specific references in his copy of the documents (9 times), endlessly paging though his folders without finding or reading any of the referenced content (7 times), and answering at length about unrelated issues.

Special counsel Mueller’s most frequent deflection tactic was to use I-phrases such as “I can’t get into…” or “I’m not going to…”. The former special special counsel declined to answer all relevant questions about topics such as the Steele Dossier, Fusion GPS, the usage of paid informants, and the genealogy of the FISA applications. As can be seen in Table 1, out of about 230 total questions, Mueller dodged about 198 and only provided vague non-committal responses to 10 others. This amounted to failing to answer about 87% of all questions. 

This was quite a performance for the shining knight of justice, especially if you consider the DOJ mission statement of:

“To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

The key operative word here is “ensure”, not try, attempt, or do your best, but to verify and confirm.

Mueller Deflection Timeline
Chart 1: The distribution of Mueller’s instances of dodging or refusing to answer questions during his testimony

Mueller’s Response Algorithm
Special counsel Mueller was selective in what questions he deflected. To the casual observer, it may have seemed that he was laconic across the board, but that wasn’t’ the case. In multiple non–sequential instances, he provided elaborate and definitive responses to questions but these were almost exclusively from Democratic Congress and Intelligence Oversight Committee members. With a few exceptions, most of his verbose responses could be categorized as being damaging to President Trump.

Mueller Keyword Cloud
Image 1
: Special counsel Mueller’s Tag Cloud of the types of words and phrases that he used to avoid answering the questions. The operative sentence that proceeded most of these words was ”I’m not going to…

As can be seen in Table 1, the taxonomy of his answers contains a large variation of the first person “I”, “I’m”, and “my”. This suggests that Mueller felt a strong affinity to the document. He never used the form “we”, “our”, or “the team” which would have been more appropriate considering his repeated assertions that the report was a large team effort and that no single individual has mastered its content.

#

Time

Response to Question

1

8:54

I stick with the language that is in front of you

2

9:00

I will leave the answer to our report

3

9:02

I’m not going to discuss other matters

4

9:04

I’ll refer to the report

5

9:05

Pass

6

9:06

I can’t say I understand the statistics

7

9:15

I direct you to the report for how its characterized

8

9:16

I rely on the language in the report

9

9:21

This is one of those area which I decline to discuss and will direct you to the report

10

9:23

Again, I send you to the report

11

9:26

I have to pass on that

12

9:27

I rely on the report

13

9:30

This is outside my purview

14

9:30

That is outside my purview

15

9:31

Outside my purview

16

9:32

I refer you to the report

17

9:33

This is still outside my purview

18

9:34

I will refer you to the report on that episode

19

9:36

I’m going to ask you rely on what we wrote about that incident

20

9:38

I’m again would refer you to the report and the way its characterized in the report

21

9:38

I’m not going to get into that

22

9:40

I can’t get into that. That’s internal deliberation of the justice department

23

9:45

I direct you again to the report

24

9:46

Whatever was said will be in the report

25

9:47

I can’t answer that questions

26

9:50

That’s not in my purview

27

9:51

I can’t get into that

28

9:53

I can’t get into that

29

9:54

I am not going to get into it

30

9:55

I would refer you to the coverage of this in the report

31

9:56

I would refer you to the report

32

9:57

I send you back to the report

33

9:58

I refer you to the write-up of this in the report

34

9:58

I can’t beyond what’s in the report

35

10:00

I can’t get into internal deliberations

36

10:01

I can’t get into the evidentiary findings

37

10:02

Can’t get into that

38

10:19

I will leave it as it appears in the report

39

10:20

I’m just going to have to refer you to the report if I could

40

10:21

I don’t want to speculate

41

10:22

I rely on the wording of the report

42

10:24

With regards to Steele, that beyond my purview

43

10:25

It’s not within my purview

44

10:26

As I said before and said again, it’s not within my purview

45

10:28

I refer you to the report on that

46

10:29

That’s an area in which I cannot get into

47

10:40

I’m not going to get into what we may or may not have included in our investigation

48

10:41

I’m not going to get into subsidiary details. I refer you again to the page 91-92

49

10:46

I can’t speak to that

50

10:47

I am under orders that don’t allow me to give you an answer to that particular question

51

10:48

I can’t get into the discussion on that

52

10:53

I’m not going to be involved in the discussion on that…

53

10:56

I’m not going to go further in terms of discussion…

54

10:57

I can’t get into our investigative moves

55

10:57

I’m not going to get into that any further than I already have

56

11:02

I can’t speak to that

57

11:02

I would say I rely on what’s in the report

58

11:07

That letter speaks for itself

59

11:10

I’m not going to go beyond that

60

11:11

I refer you to the court proceedings on that issue

61

11:15

I’m not going to get into that

62

11:16

I can’t speak to that

63

11:18

I’m not going to talk to that

64

11:20

I’m not going to speak that

65

11:22

I’m not going to get into what was in Mr. Comey’s mind

66

11:23

I’m not going to delve more into the details of what happened

67

11:25

I’ll leave that to the attorney General

68

11:26

I’m not going to get into ta discussion on that

69

11:27

Again, I refer you to the report

70

11:28

I refer you to the lengthy dissertation on exactly whose issues that appears in the report

71

11:33

I can’t speak to that

72

11:34

That was outside out purview

73

11:34

I’m not going to speak to that

74

11:35

And I am not going to answer that question, sir

75

11:35

I’m not going to speak anymore to that

76

11:36

I’m not going to answer that

77

11:36

I have nothing to add

78

11:37

I’m not going to add to what I have stated before

79

11:39

I feel uncomfortable discussing anything to do with the Stone indictment

80

11:40

I’m not going to speculate

81

11:41

I’m not going top discuss that

82

11:43

Not going to talk about that

83

11:46

I’m not going to answer that

84

11:53

I’m not going to talk about that issue

85

11:58

I’m not going to get into that. It’s a little of track

86

12:00

I have to say the letter itself speaks for itself

87

12:01

I go back to the latter. The letter speaks for itself

88

12:02

I can’t answer that question in a vacuum

89

12:03

We have not specified the persons mentioned

90

12:04

I’m not going to speculate

91

12:05

I’m going to pass on that

92

12:08

I’m not going to comment

93

13:17

I’m not going to go into details of the report

94

13:20

Those areas, I’m going to stay away from

95

13:20

I’m not going to get into those matters to which you refer

96

13:24

I’m not going to speak to the series of happenings as you explained them

97

13:26

I’d have to refer you to the reports on that one

98

13:26

I’m not going to speculate

99

13:28

I can speak to the half of the half of your question that’s on the screen being accurate

100

13:28

I’m not going to speak to that

101

13:32

Again, I’m not going to discuss the issues related to Mr. Steele

102

13:34

Again, I pass on answering that question

103

13:37

That’s about all I’ll say on this aspect of it

104

13:41

I’m going to pass on that

105

13:42

I take your question

106

13:46

I’m not going to speculate along those lines

107

13:48

I’m not going to opine on that. I don’t have the expertise in that arena to opine

108

13:48

I cannot agree with that. Not that it’s not true, but hat I can’t agree with it…

109

13:50

That portion or that matter does not fall within our jurisdiction

110

13:51

I direct you to the report for how its characterized

111

13:53

I’m not going to discuss any other alternatives

112

13:57

I can’t speak to that. That would be in levels of classification

113

13:59

I’m going to stay away from one particular or two particular situations

114

14:01

I’m not going to talk about specifics

115

14:02

I’m not going to speak to that

116

14:10

I’m not going to get into that. It goes into internal deliberations

117

14:12

Again, I’m going to pass on that

118

14:13

As I said before, this is an area that I cannot speak to

119

14:14

Again, I’m not going to speak to that issue

120

14:14

Questions such as that should go to the FBI

121

14:31

And I’m not going to discuss that

122

14:32

I’m not going to get into that

123

14:33

And again, I’m not going to respond to that

124

14:34

Again, I can’t respond

125

14:35

Again, I can’t speak to it

126

14:35

Again, I can’t answer that

127

14:36

Again, I’m not going to go there

128

14:37

I think you understand I cannot get into either classified or law enforcement information

129

14:37

I can’t respond to that question, it’s outside my jurisdiction

130

14:42

Again, I can’t speak to that

131

14:43

I can’t go into it

132

14:45

I’m no longer in the Federal government, so I’ll pass

133

14:46

I don’t want to wade into those waters

134

14:51

I defer to the report on that

135

14:54

I can’t get into a discussion on it

136

14:55

I can’t answer that

137

14:56

I can’t get into that

138

14:56

Again, it’s the same territory that I’m loath to get into

139

15:06

I’m not going to talk to that

140

15:06

I’m not going to talk to that

141

15:09

That I can’t get into

142

15:12

And I can’t get into that area

143

15:13

I can’t answer that question

144

15:16

I’m not going to get into that

145

15:17

I cannot get into that

146

15:21

I will not get into that

147

15:23

I leave that to you

148

15:24

Again, speculation

Table 1: Sampling of reasons from about 200 instances for Mueller’s refusal to answer questions

The Evaluation Process
Special counsel Mueller’s testimony consisted of over 750,000 video frames. Evan a trained interrogator could only process a small percentage of this data. Add to this the observer’s distraction, blinking, and fatigue and it becomes virtually impossible for a human to be able to accurately capture the fine nuances of all of these these frames or sequences for content. At best, a person would be able to provide a summarized ‘gut feeling’ about the overall session and reference some vague (and often inaccurate) actions such as ‘he touched his nose’ which could suggest that he was either uncomfortable or had an itchy nose.

AI based image analytics on the other hand, can easily process each video frame in a consistent, repeatable manner, and with no observer bios. The objective of my evaluation of Mueller’s testimony was not to determine if he was lying with certainty, but rather to identify recurring patterns of stress that are associated with deception and correlate them to the topics of conversation.

Special counsel Mueller did a great job obfuscating the report details but the large high quality volume of video and audio in his testimony made it possible to analyze the session and find anomalies and various patterns that could provide insight into his mindset

In this project just as in my related posts 1 and 2, I used the following AI based image analytics, text, and speech analysis tools:

For the text/speech, I used a hybrid approach to word and phrase speech pattern analysis. The textual analysis evaluated these types of speech categories:

  • I-words (I, Me, My, I’m)
  • Social words
  • Positive emotions
  • Negative emotions
  • Cognitive processes
  • Analytic reasoning
  • Clout
  • Authenticity
  • Emotional tone

For the video analytics, I established special counsel Mueller’s facial and other video objects baseline using several on-line sources and the main testimony video. The baseline cataloging included his unique facial expressions such as Microexpressions and other visually detectable actions like use of hand gesture, head motion, mouth movement, gaze, etc.

Microexpressions
Image 2: Sampling of special counsel Mueller’s Microexpressions such as (L-R): loathing/anger, surprise, fear, happiness

Sampling of Mueller’s Body Mechanics
Image 3: Sampling of special counsel Mueller’s’ body dynamics as related to left hand usage

Following the creation of a facial baseline catalog, I proceeded with the ML training using data sets for non-facial activity such as paging through the report folder, eye blink, gaze, etc.

Sample of Training Sets for Paging Detection
Image 4: Sampling of image set used to train the machine learning (ML) to identify special counsel Mueller flipping pages through his report folders 

After the training was completed, I ran the first 15 minutes of special counsel Mueller’s testimony through the engine and performed a search for known classified objects such as him ‘reading the report’.

Mueller Reading the Report
Imager 5
: Sample search results of instances of Mueller looking at the report

I noted the detections and examined several thousand video frames prior, during, and after the detections to capture the actual ground truth. The visual search results of the 15 minute video segment correlated to within a 83% match rate against the baseline catalog created with the ML training set. I then used the missed detections to re-train the ML again and repeated this cycle several times on random video segments of his testimony until the match rate stabilized at about 94%.

In addition to creating a catalog of special counsel Mueller’s microexpressions I also created a library of sequences of his composite facial expressions. These sequences were close consecutively spaced combinations of microexpressions and other body activity that were 0.5-3.5 seconds long. One example for these types of composite expressions was eye flutter combined with ‘lip twitching’ or some other mouth movement.

In this sequence, Mueller typically stared at the speaker while his bottom lip would involuntary twitch or quiver several times or his lips would tighten; he would then break eye contact with the speaker and rotate his head downwards, recompose, then bring his head upwards and re-establish eye contact with the speaker.  

Mueller-Hard-Break
Image 6: Sample of a typical special counsel Mueller sequence showing mouth activity and breaking eye contact with the speaker. The context here is Rep Jim Jordan’s asking Mueller to confirm if Joseph Mifsud was interviewed, did he lie, and is he Russian or Western Intelligence

Once I completed calibrating special counsel Mueller’s video object catalog and the library of sequential expressions, I conducted searches for facial anomalies. Anomalies are defined as any variations from his standard single image or sequence patterns such as unusual cycle of head, eye, or mouth movements. 

For example, based on his standard detection for “blinking”, special counsel Mueller’s blinking interval baseline was established to be 3–7 seconds with a blinking duration of approximately 1/10th-1/3rd of a second (see Image 7-8). 

Mueller’s Natural Blink Cycle
Image 7: Sample of one baseline feature in special counsel Mueller’s visual object catalog showing his normal blink pattern.

Sample of Training Sets for Blinking Detection
Image 8: Sample detections of special counsel Mueller’s normal blinking pattern throughout his testimony. Special counsel Mueller’s blinking follows a pattern of a full single closure of the eyelid at a 3-7 second interval

Any blinking variation form this base line generated an anomaly that was then evaluated manually before becoming certified as a new pattern of interest. This exception was then further evaluated in the context of the topic of conversation and the microexpressions involved. 

One such anomaly was associated with special counsel Mueller’s unusual blinking pattern. On closer examination, it turned out that what on the surface appeared to be unusual blinking was in fact a reoccurring cycle of rapid flutter of the eyelids. This unusual sequence was also at times accompanied by certain head, tongue, and lip movements.

After mapping this ‘Flutter Cycle” to the topic that was being discussed at the time of the event, it became clear that this was some sort of an involuntary display of distress and/or fear. It was so prevalent that it could even be used to predict what questions were being discussed.

Some of the subjects that triggered this ‘Flutter Cycle’ were: 

  • DOJ and FBI media leaks
  • Christopher Steele, the dossier and its funding sources
  • Fusion GPS and its work with the DNC, HRC, and foreign governments
  • Glen Simpson and Natalia Veselnitskaya
  • The meeting at the Trump Tower
  • Informants and surveillance (i.e. Mifsud, Downer, Halper, etc.)
  • The FISA warrants

Mueller Seizer Cycle
Image 9
: An illustration of special counsel Mueller’s typical Flutter Cycle.

The Flutter Cycle sequence was characterized by 2-5 rapid flutters of the eyelids and an upward eye roll, head, mouth, and accompanying tongue movements. This Flutter Cycle sequence seen in the left side of the collection in Image 10 (also, see 1:26:00 in the video) corresponds to questions by Rep Steve Chabot of Mueller’s investigation of the relationship between Glen Simpson, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and the latter’s visit to Trump Tower.

The same type of events were observed during other pointed inquires such as Rep Louie Gohmert’s challenging special counsel Mueller’s credibility due to his refusal to answer basic questions (see 1:33:30 in the video).

Mueller-Flutter-Cycle Mueller-Mouth quivering Mueller-Flutter-Cycle-2
Image 10
: (L-R) A sampling of three anomalies a complex facial flutter, lip twitching, and simple eye flutter sequences

Several other interesting anomalies that turned out to be repeating patterns in special counsel Mueller’s facial expression and composite sequences were:

  • Lip Twitching – Associated with microexpressions such as fear and surprise
  • Downward Head Nodding – Associated with other defensive posture the was triggered by breaking eye contact with the speaker
  • Flattened Mouth or Lips –  Associated with signs of frustration as in ‘I want to answer this question, but I really shouldn’t’
  • Prolonged Blinkless Stare Associated with angry and combative response to some question

Sampling of Mueller’s “Flutter Cycle” Events
Imager 11
: Samples of special counsel Mueller’s dozens of “flutter cycle” episodes during the Q&A

The Jolly Affable Mueller
Not all of special counsel Mueller’s testimony was marked by doom and gloom. On a number of occasions (mostly when talking to Democratic representatives), he showed himself to be charming, in high spirits, engaged, and animated. Mueller had no inhibitions about making remarks regarding the report’s failure to exonerate President Trump and the possibility of persecuting President Trump after he left office. He freely cited legal sources and DOJ procedures and protocols and provided detailed rationale for his team’s action and conclusions.

Mueller Fun and Jokes
Image 12: The suave, charming, engaged, and animated Mueller in action

Mueller’s predictable patterns of distress were almost always associated with ‘difficult’ questions on topics such as the role of Fusion GPS, spying on President Trump, and Christopher Steele. Images 13 and 14 show a typical triggering events of a Flutter Cycles.

Mueller and Martha Roby-2
Image 13: Samples of Mueller’s Flutter Cycle episodes during Q&A session dealing with him leaking report details to the media

Mueller and Martha Roby
Image 14
: Sample of Mueller’s Flutter Cycle episodes during Q&A session dealing with separating the grand jury materials from the report

Analysis Results
Special counsel Mueller’s body language and facial sentiment analysis shows high levels of discomfort and tension when discussing certain parts of the report. He exhibited multiple signs of distress that included:

  • Multiple Flutter cycles
  • Mouth quivering cycles
  • Self shooting and fidgeting behavior
  • Sudden breaking of eye contact
  • Rapid downward head movement
  • Hard swallowing
  • Tightening of the mouth and lips

I didn’t have a baseline for incidents where special counsel Mueller was being untruthful. However, the baseline of his normal conversational dynamics show signs of clear distress which strongly suggest that at least from his perspective, not all questions were equal and not all of his answers were factual.

Special counsel Mueller distress patterns consistently overlapped with certain trigger topics and his verbal response to almost all of these interactions was a variation on the “I’m not going to…”.  He deviated from this pattern only a handful of times and actively engaged the questioner. One of these back alley knife fight sessions involved Rep Ben Cline’s stating that Andrew Weissmann was running a rogue investigation that was based on flawed legal theory that was overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court.

As the question was being asked, special counsel Mueller became defensive; he shifted uncomfortably in his chair, exhibited his Flutter Cycle, and replaced his poker face and laconic I-word response pattern with a passionate and verbose defense of Weissmann (see 3:19:40 in the video or sound file below). 

Mueller-Hard-Shifting
Image 15: Sample of one of Mueller’s distress patterns that includes his Flutter Cycle and shifting in his seat

Recording 1: Exchange between Rep Cline and Mueller about Weismann’s legal foundation of his obstruction of justice investigation

During this segment which lasted about two minutes, special counsel Mueller argued, spoke over Cline, and attempted several times to repeat his assertions about Weismann. This continued even after the subject of the questions changed to Obama’s culpability in Obstruction of Justice when he announced publicly that the HRC private email server did not pose any threat to national security. Mueller, without much difficulty, exhibited a decent mastery of the report’s content, cited specific areas in it that included a lengthy dissertation and in general tried to rehabilitate himself and his team.

Conclusion
The overwhelming majority of special counsel Mueller’s testimony failed to illuminate any of the big questions about the DNC email hack, the genesis of the Steele Dossier, the DNC/Fusion GPS relationship with Russian state actors, and the 2016 surveillance on the Trump team. In fact, his answers raised even more questions about the real power behind the throne and R&R within the special counsel team.

If it is indeed the case, as special counsel Mueller confirmed in multiple answers, that no single individual on his vast team had intimate familiarly with the whole report, then who compiled the final version of the document?  Was this just a collation of multiple taskforce reports that were later combined into a single master? And if that is the case, who was the person that harmonized all the individual versions in order to make sure that the index, footnotes, format, dates, people, places, reductions, and events were in sync?

Aaron Zebley
Image 16
: The Special Counsel Team and testimony attendees

It is noteworthy that special counsel Mueller continued to play the I-phrase card and refused to address any of the procedural questions about the compilation of the report. Even though, this information had little bearing on the report’s content and that there is nothing classified or proprietary about the way the DOJ writes and edits their documents.

Even though special counsel Mueller attempted to obfuscate the report’s composition methods and authors, the writing style, document layout, context, and several other administrative clues strongly suggest that Andrew Weismann was the architect and Aaron Zebley was chief editor of the document. This is also likely the reason why special counsel Mueller insisted that Zebley be present by his side and be sworn in.

The evidence from the video analytics, speech dynamics, and the decision tree special counsel Mueller used to answer the questions (i.e. question objective vs. answer strategy) shows a decent mental agility and the ability to on demand alternate between complete radio silence and singing like a canary.

To those who believe that special counsel Mueller was just a senile old man with little familiarity with the content of the report, consider the fact that some of his verbose answers show that he had a pretty good grasp of  the document. He also artfully navigated the many minefields in the report without blowing up a leg in the process. A few MSM pundits suggested that Mueller’s poor verbal performance should be attributed to cognitive impairment but this argument is inconsistent with his ability to deliver the following:

  • Selectively discuss specific topics, most of which were prejudicial towards President Trump
  • Answer questions that almost exclusively supported the impeachment narrative with certainty and conviction
  • Justify and emphasize specific areas in the report that exonerated his team from claims of bias towards President Trump and instances of hostile conduct by FBI senior management and its agents (i.e. Comey, Strzok, Page, agent 2, and others)
  • Utilize the “I’m not going to…” strategy to answer any questions about the “insurance policy”
  • Refuse to address the media leaks that either came from him personally, his direct reports, or his team
  • Exhibited great mental agility and dexterity during the May 29th, 2019 Mueller news conference
  • Come up with over 198 different ways of not answering a direct question

The patterns identified by the analytics strongly suggest that all of special counsel Mueller’s behavioral stress patterns matched the typical anxiety profiles and signs of internal struggle that are exhibited by a deceptive suspect during an integration. For the first time in his long bureaucratic career, he found himself at the wrong side of the table with the bright lights in his face and a real possibility of being charged with perjury. For several hours, the fearless hunter became the pray and he clearly didn’t like the experience.

Contextually, the majority of his testimony turned out to be an underhanded attempt to use the Q&A session to justify, promote, and surreptitiously inject political narrative into the public hearing. None of this should come as a surprise as it is the same circular “Impeach Trump” agenda that launched this investigation in the first place. At the end of the day, despite special counsel Mueller’s title and god-like pedigree, it seems that he turned out to be just another DC power broker who placed his bets on the losing presidential candidate.

Sample Report Pages
Image 18: Two pages (a total of 856 words) form the Mueller report dealing with George Papadopoulos being told by Joseph Mifsud about the Russian having “Dirt” on HRC.

Special counsel Mueller’s elaborate 448 page report that took close to two years to complete, cost over 25 million dollars (that’s about $51K per page), involved 19 lawyers, 23 legal researchers, 40 FBI agents, 10 intelligence analysts, 7 forensic accountants, 25 other professional staff, and the unlimited resources of the DOJ, the State department, NSA, and the intelligence community, delivered an indefensible dud.

And it if that is not bad enough, Almost none of the content of the Mueller report can be reconciled with sources like the Ellen Nakashima WaPo June 14, 2016 report about the DNC hack. The dates, timeline of events, the details, and people are completely discombobulated. 

Reading the reports, you can’t but stop and appreciate the authors’ Kafkaesque sense of humor. In the example pages shown in Image 18, the report discusses the chain of transmission of the Russian ‘Dirt’ from Joseph Mifsud, to Papadopoulos, to a mysteries western diplomat (Alexander Downer) who then informed the FBI, who naturally became alarmed and started this massive investigation. On the face of it, the document looks solid. It has all of the right trimmings, detailed claims, massive amount of footnotes, intelligence lingo, hush hush sources, and strategic reductions with alarming labels like “Harm to ongoing matter”. It is as convincing as a Vegas levitation magic act.

But, levitating magic acts are always predicated on the audience viewing the scene from a distance and through a carefully controlled field of view–which is exactly what the special counsel Mueller report and testimony turned out to be. Magic doesn’t work if you get a glimpse of the crane and the wires supporting the magician. Once you understand the mechanics of the act, the awe gives way to a letdown.

You can test this premise by substituting any good magic act with the report and special counsel Mueller with any illusionist. Any question you ask the magician about the inner workings of his trick would be deflected using the exact same techniques Special Counsel Mueller used during his testimony. The most important rule in magic is NEVER tell the secret of the trick, just let the magic speak for itself.

The Mueller Levitation Magic
Image 19
: The levitating magic act

What is ostensibly missing from these two magical pages in Image 18 is that the source of the ‘Dirt’ was none other than Stefan Halper, a paid informant who billed (using DUNS # 078459148) the Federal Government about $656,535 for his services. By the time you factor Halper and Mifsud and their harem of young female assistants, Mifsud and his life of debauchery at his safe house, Downer’s expenses, and at least 11 other IC, CI, and State Department assets that supported Halper in fattening Papadopoulos before he was shish-ka-bobbed by bob, the cost of these two pages to the US taxpayer was probably upwards of a million dollars.

Natalia and Olga
Image 20
: The Supposedly dead Mifsud in action and two of his Red Sparrows

So, to those of you who still think that majoring in contemporary English fiction won’t pay the bills, it clearly can! After all, what other line of work pays $1168 per word?

Stefan Halper Payment
Image 21: Stefan Halper’s government payment record for service provided to the DoD and DOJ from 2016-2018

Summum bonum
I have difficulty finding solace in special counsel Mueller’s bragging about the higher good from his recovery of about $40 million from the Paul Manafort persecution. I’m also not sure if we should laugh or cry about the concept of the DOJ becoming a profit center. The problem with the DOJ acting as a collection agency that recovers the cost of prosecution from its targets is the political nature of their victim selection algorithm. Each one of us including the Honorable Mr. Mueller has something in his past, present, or future that could warrant jail time and property seizure. With over 3000 federal and thousands more state laws on the books, we are all guilty of some misdemeanor or a felony. Who in the DOJ then, gets to make the decisions about who/why to persecute and the ultimate greater good? Is it going to be one of the dozens of high power attorneys that regularly walk through the DOJ revolving doors to personally enrich themselves by constantly hopping between government gigs and private practice?

The problem with the whole Manafort affair is that if he was so thoroughly corrupt in 2007, then why didn’t special counsel Mueller investigate him earlier during his 11 year tenure as the director of the FBI. Why did he wait until 2018 to bring these charges?:

“…crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

After all, the DOJ, FBI, and the IC had a supersized file on Manafort going back to 2007, so why wait for all these years?

Yanukovych Mueller and Manafort
Image 22
: The Triumvirate or Threesome (depending on your view)

Mark Twain once wrote that:

“Anybody can tell lies: there is no merit in a mere lie, [for a good deceit] it must possess art, it must exhibit a splendid & plausible & convincing probability; that is to say, it must be powerfully calculated to deceive.” 

Special Counsel Mueller’s report doesn’t come close to Twain’s definition of deceptive genius, but it does have a certain kitschy synthetic Disneyland feel to it. In many ways its similar to another secretive report, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Both, share the same conspiratorial elements, treachery, mysterious meetings, made-up events and agendas, secret societies, informants, and intrigue.

All of this hush-hush secret agent man stuff in the report seems very mysterious, but at its core, it’s really a simple criminal matter. If you’ve ever been a juror on a criminal trial, you should be familiar with the routine. If you haven’t, it goes a s follows:

  • The prosecution and the defense present their case with an opening statement
  • Both show evidence and present witnesses
  • Both cross-examine witnesses 
  • Each side delivers their closing arguments
  • The jury goes into deliberation and comes up with a verdict

In any normal criminal trial in the US, they typically follow the Federal Rules of Evidence, there is no such thing as secret testimony that can’t be verified or evidence that can’t be shown to the jury. If the DA doesn’t want to expose his sources/methods then they get excluded from trial. If witnesses can’t be cross-examined, their testimony is inadmissible. It’s as simple as that. The bottom line is that if a prosecutor can’t/won’t show the evidence for a charge he has no case.

Gowdy vs. FBI
Image 22
: Rep Gowdy and DOJ IG Horowitz Q&A session regarding Peter Strzok’s and Lisa Page’s involvement in the Mueller and HRC Email investigations

So, no, I don’t think we can classify special counsel Mueller’s report as a deceptive masterpiece, I would rather categorize it as more of a ‘true story’ type of a tale.

 

References and Sourcing
The Mueller Testimony: Full Transcript
The Mueller Report: Full Report
Human Resource Exploitation Training: Interrogation Manual

Toris, C., & DePaulo, B. M. (1984): Effects of actual deception and suspiciousness of deception on interpersonal perceptions 

MG Frank – ‎1997: The ability to detect deceit 

Analytical thinking:The analytical thinking algorithm was based on the results from a series of studies by: Pennebaker, Chung, Frazee, Lavergne, and Beaver (2014.

Clout: Clout refers to the relative social status, confidence, or leadership that people display through their writing or talking. The algorithm was based on the results from a series of studies by: Kacewicz, Pennebaker, Davis, Jeon, & Graesser, 2013.

Authenticity: The algorithm for authenticity detection was based on a series of studies where people were induced to be honest and deceptive. See Newman, Pennebaker, Berry, & Richards, 2003 and Textual Models of Deception to Interrogation Settings.

Emotional tone: The positive emotion and negative emotion tone algorithms were based on the results from a study by: Cohn, Mehl, & Pennebaker, 2004. See Linguistic Markers of Psychological State throughMedia Interviews: John Kerry and John Edwardsin 2004, Al Gore in 2000

University of East Anglia
Image 23: Natalia Kutepova-Jamrom’s recommendations letter from Joseph Mifsud

slide-1-638
Image 24
: Natalia Kutepova-Jamrom’s recommendation letter from Gianni Pittella 

Copyright 2019 Yaacov Apelbaum, All Rights Reserved.

Self vs. Public Perception and the USS Becuna

Introspection
Image 1: Digital remastering of the original artwork by Y. Lovell located at the torpedo room of the US Navy Submarine Becuna (SS-319).

USS Becuna USS-319
Image 2: Commemorative postal covers marking the keel laying on 29 April 1943 and her launch on 30 January 1944 at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT. Starboard view of the USS Becuna entering Pearl Harbor, circa 1944.

SS Becuna entering Pearl Harbor 1944-45
Image 3: USS Becuna returning from a patrol to Pearl Harbor 1944-45

SS Becuna at Pearl Harbor 1944-45
Image 4:
USS Becuna docked at Pearl Harbor 1944-45

SS Becuna resupplying
Image 5: USS Becuna conducting a high line transfer

Becuna SS319 Interior
Image 6:
USS Becuna Interior (L-R) Control room, maneuvering room, engine room (with the two engines “Huff” and “Puff”), torpedo room, and the galley

A Submarine
(From an edition of The Dolphin, the SUBASE NEW LONDON newspaper, April 4, 1925)

Born in the shops of the Devil,
Designed in the brains of a fiend;
Filled with acid and crude oil,
And christened “A Submarine”.

The poets send in their ditties,
Of Battleships spick and clean;
But never a word in their columns,
Do you see of a submarine.

I’ll try and depict our story,
In a very laconic way;
Please have patience to listen,
Until I have finished my say.

We eat where’re we can find it,
And sleep hanging up on the hooks;
Conditions under which we’re existing,
Are never published in books.

Life on these boats is obnoxious,
And that is using mild terms;
We are never bothered by sickness,
There isn’t any room for germs.

We are never troubled with varmints,
There are things even a cockroach can’t stand.           
And any self-respecting rodent,
Quick as possible beats it for land.

And that little one dollar per dive,
We receive to submerge out of sight;
Is often earned more than double,
By charging batteries at night.

And that extra compensation,
We receive on boats like these;
We never really get at all,
It’s spent on soap and dungarees.

Machinists get soaked in fuel oil,
Electricians in H2SO4;
Gunnersmates with 600W,
And torpedo slush galore.

When we come into the Navy Yard,
We are looked upon with disgrace;
And they make out some new regulations,
To fit our particular case.

Now all you Battleship sailors,
When you are feelin’’ disgruntled and mean;
Just pack your bag and hammock,
And go to “A Submarine”

References and Sources
Images courtesy of: Darryl L. Baker, Jack Treutle (of blessed memory), and John Hummel, (USN) retired
Submarine Photo Archive – USS Becuna (SS-319) (AGSS-319)

 

Copyright 2019 Yaacov Apelbaum, All Rights Reserved.