By Whitney Webb – Sep 3, 2020
A group of “bipartisan” neoconservative Republicans and establishment Democrats have been “simulating” multiple catastrophic scenarios for the 2020 election, including a simulation where a clear victory by the incumbent provokes “unprecedented” measures, which the Biden campaign could take to foil a new Trump inauguration.
A group of Democratic Party insiders and former Obama and Clinton era officials as well as a cadre of “Never Trump” neoconservative Republicans have spent the past few months conducting simulations and “war games” regarding different 2020 election “doomsday” scenarios.
Per several media reports on the group, called the Transition Integrity Project (TIP), they justify these exercises as specifically preparing for a scenario where President Trump loses the 2020 election and refuses to leave office, potentially resulting in a constitutional crisis. However, according to TIP’s own documents, even their simulations involving a “clear win” for Trump in the upcoming election resulted in a constitutional crisis, as they predicted that the Biden campaign would make bold moves aimed at securing the presidency, regardless of the election result.
This is particularly troubling given that TIP has considerable ties to the Obama administration, where Biden served as Vice President, as well as several groups that are adamantly pro-Biden in addition to the Biden campaign itself. Indeed, the fact that a group of openly pro-Biden Washington insiders and former government officials have gamed out scenarios for possible election outcomes and their aftermath, all of which either ended with Biden becoming president or a constitutional crisis, suggest that powerful forces influencing the Biden campaign are pushing the former Vice President to refuse to concede the election even if he loses.
This, of course, gravely undercuts the TIP’s claim to be ensuring “integrity” in the presidential transition process and instead suggests that the group is openly planning on how to ensure that Trump leaves office regardless of the result or to manufacture the very constitutional crisis they claim to be preventing through their simulations.
Such concerns are only magnified by the recent claims made by the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State under Obama, Hillary Clinton, that Biden “should not concede under any circumstances.” “I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” Clinton continued during an interview with Showtime a little over a week ago. The results of the TIP’s simulations notably echo Clinton’s claims that Biden will “eventually” win if the process to determine the election outcome is “dragged out.”
The Uniparty’s “war games”
Members of the TIP met in June to conduct four “war games” that simulated “a dark 11 weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day” in which “Trump and his Republican allies used every apparatus of government — the Postal Service, state lawmakers, the Justice Department, federal agents, and the military — to hold onto power, and Democrats took to the courts and the streets to try to stop it,” according to a report from The Boston Globe. However, one of those simulations, which examined what would transpire between Election Day and Inauguration Day in the event of a “clear Trump win,” shows that the TIP simulated not only how Republicans could use every option at their disposal to “hold onto power”, but also how Democrats could do so if the 2020 election result is not in their favor.
While some, mostly right-leaning media outlets, such as this article from The National Pulse, did note that the TIP’s simulations involved the Biden campaign refusing to concede, the actual document from TIP on the exercises revealed the specific moves the Biden campaign would take following a “clear win” for the Trump campaign. Unsurprisingly, these moves would greatly exacerbate current political tensions in the United States, an end result that the TIP claims they were created to avoid, gravely undercutting the official justification for their simulations as well as the group’s official reason for existing.
In the TIP’s “clear Trump win” scenario (see page 17), Joe Biden – played in the war game by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager and chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton – retracted his election night concession and subsequently convinced “three states with Democratic governors – North Carolina, Wisconsin and Michigan – to ask for recounts.” Then, the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan “sent separate slates of electors to counter those sent by the state legislature” to the Electoral College, which Trump had won, in an attempt to undermine, if not prevent, that win.
Next, “the Biden campaign encouraged Western states, particularly California but also Oregon and Washington, and collectively known as “Cascadia,” to secede from the Union unless Congressional Republicans agreed to a set of structural reforms. (emphasis added)” Subsequently, “with advice from [former] President Obama,” the Biden campaign laid out those “reforms” as the following:
- Give statehood to Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
- Divide California into five states “to more accurately represent its population in the Senate”
- Require Supreme Court justices to retire at 70
- Eliminate the Electoral College
In other words, these “structural reforms” involve the creation of what essentially amounts to having the U.S. by composed 56 states, with the new states set to ensure a perpetual majority for Democrats, as only Democrat-majority areas (DC, Puerto Rico and California) are given statehood. Notably, in other scenarios where Biden won the Electoral College, Democrats did not support its elimination.
Also notable is the fact that, in this simulation, the TIP blamed the Trump campaign for the Democrats’ decision to take the “provocative, unprecedented actions” laid out above, asserting that Trump’s campaign had “created the conditions to force the Biden campaign” into taking these actions by doing things like giving “an interview to The Intercept in which he [Trump] stated that he would have lost the election if Bernie Sanders had been nominated” instead of Biden as the Democratic presidential candidate.
The TIP also claimed that the Trump campaign would seek to paint these “provocative, unpredecented actions” as “the Democrats attempting to orchestrate an illegal coup,” despite the fact that that is essentially what those actions entail. Indeed, in other simulations where the Trump campaign behaved along these lines, the TIP’s rhetoric about this category of extreme actions is decidedly different.
Yet, the simulated actions of the Biden campaign in this scenario did not end there, as the Biden campaign subsequently “provoked a breakdown in the joint session of Congress [on January 6th] by getting the House of Representatives to agree to award the presidency to Biden,” adding that this was “based on the alternative pro-Biden submissions sent by pro-Biden governors.” The Republican party obviously did not consent, noting that Trump had won the election through his Electoral College victory. The “clear Trump win” election simulation ended with no president-elect being inaugurated on January 20, with the TIP noting “it was unclear what the military would do in this situation.”
Of course, some TIP members, including its co-founder Rosa Brooks – a former advisor to the Obama era Pentagon and currently a fellow at the “New America” think tank, have their preference for “what the military would do in this situation.” For instance, Brooks, writing less than 2 weeks after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, argued in Foreign Policythat “a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders” was one of four possibilities for removing Trump from office prior to the 2020 election.
Who is behind the TIP?
The TIP was created in late 2019, allegedly “out of concern that the Trump Administration may seek to manipulate, ignore, undermine or disrupt the 2020 presidential election and transition process.” It was co-founded by Rosa Brooks and Nils Gilman and its current director is Zoe Hudson. Brooks, as previously mentioned, was an advisor to the Pentagon and the Hillary Clinton-led State Department during the Obama administration. She was also previously the general counsel to the President of the Open Society Institute, part of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), a controversial organization funded by billionaire George Soros. Zoe Hudson, who is TIP’s director, is also a former top figure at OSF, serving assenior policy analyst and liaison between the foundations and the U.S. government for 11 years.
OSF ties to the TIP are a red flag for a number of reasons, namely due to the fact that OSF and other Soros-funded organizations played a critical role in fomenting so-called “color revolutions” to overthrow non-aligned governments, particularly during the Obama administration. Examples of OSF’s ties to these manufactured “revolutions” include Ukraine in 2014 and the “Arab Spring,” which began in 2011 and saw several governments in the Middle East and North Africa that were troublesome to Western interests conveniently removed from power.
Subsequent leaked emails revealed the cozy ties between Soros and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including one email where Soros directed Clinton’s policy with respect to unrest in Albania, telling her that “two things need to be done urgently,” which were to “bring the full weight of the international community to bear on Prime Minister Berisha” and “appoint a senior European official as mediator.” Both “urgent” tasks were subsequently performed by Clinton, presumably at Soros’ behest.
In addition to her ties to the Obama administration and OSF, Brooks is currently a scholar at West Point’s Modern War Institute, where she focuses on “the relationship between the military and domestic policing” and also Georgetown’s Innovative Policing Program. She is a currently a key player in the documented OSF-led push to “capitalize” off of legitimate calls for police reform to justify the creation of a federalized police force under the guise of defunding and/or eliminating local police departments. Brooks’ interest in the “blurring line” between military and police is notable given her past advocacy of a military coup to remove Trump from office and the TIP’s subsequent conclusion that the military “may” have to step in if Trump manages to win the 2020 election, per the group’s “war games” described above.
Brooks is also a senior fellow at the think tank New America. New America’s mission statement notes that the organization is focused on “honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create.” It is largely funded by Silicon Valley billionaires, including Bill Gates (Microsoft), Eric Schmidt (Google), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Jeffrey Skoll and Pierre Omidyar (eBay). In addition, it has received millions directly from the U.S. State Department to research “ranking digital rights.” Notably, of these funders, Reid Hoffman was caught “meddling” in the most recent Democratic primary to undercut Bernie Sanders’ candidacy during the Iowa caucus and while others, such as Eric Schmidt and Pierre Omidyar, are known for their cozy ties to the Clinton family and even ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
The Never Trumpers
Aside from Brooks, the other co-founder of TIP is Nils Gilman, the current Vice President of Programs at the Berggruen Institute and, prior to that, worked for Salesforce, a major tech company and government contractor. Gilman is particularly focused on artificial intelligence and transhumanism, recently telling the New York Times that his work at the Berggruen Institute is focused on “building [a] transnational networks of philosophers + technologists + policy-makers + artists who are thinking about how A.I. and gene-editing are transfiguring what it means to be human.” Nicholas Berggruen, for whom the Berggruen Institute is named, is part of the billionaire-led faction, alongside Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman and Eric Schmidt, who seek to develop A.I. and the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” in conjunction with the political leaders and economic elite of China.
They are critics and rivals of those in the “nationalist” camp with respect to A.I. and China, who instead prefer to aggressively “leapfrog” China’s A.I. capabilities in order to maintain U.S. global hegemony as opposed to a “new order” promoted by Berggreun, Schmidt, Schwarzman and Henry Kissinger, another key member of the “cooperation” faction. The battle over the U.S.’ future A.I. policy with respect to China appears to be a major yet widely overlooked reason for some of the antipathy towards Trump by those in the “cooperation” faction, including those who employ TIP’s founders, given Trump’s tendency to, at least publicly, support “America First” policies and increased tensions with China. In contrast, the Biden family is invested in Chinese A.I. companies, suggesting that Biden would be more willing to pursue the interests of the “cooperation” faction than Trump.
While the identities of the TIP’s founders and current director have been made public, the full member list of the TIP has not. However, the TIP’s “sister” organization, called The National Task Force on Election Crises (NTFEC), does have a public membership list and several of its members are also known to be part of the TIP. Some of these overlapping members include Michael Chertoff, former head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC and Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to former Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Chertoff, Steele and Wilkerson, though Republicans, are part of the so-called “Never Trump” Republican faction, as are the TIP’s other known Republican members. Thus, while the “bipartisan” nature of TIP may be accurate in terms of party affiliation, all of known TIP’s members – regardless of party – are united in their opposition to another term for the current president.
Other known members of the TIP include David Frum (the Atlantic), William Kristol (Project for a New American Century, The Bulwark), Max Boot (the Washington Post), Donna Brazile (ex-DNC), John Podesta (former campaign manager – Clinton 2016), Chuck Hagel (former Secretary of Defense), Reed Galen (co-founder of the Lincoln Project) and Norm Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute).
Of their known members, the most outspoken is Lawrence Wilkerson, who has fashioned himself the group’s “unofficial” spokesperson, having done the majority of media interviews promoting the group and its “war games.” In an interview in late June with journalist Paul Jay, Wilkerson notes that the TIP lacks transparency and that, aside from their “war games,” their other activities are largely confidential.
He specifically stated that:
“There is some confidentiality about what we agreed to, and what we’ve put out publicly, and who’s responsible for that, and other aspects of our doing that. The Transition Integrity Project is to this point very, very close, whole, and confidential.”
In that same interview, Wilkerson also noted that the current “combination of events” involving the recent unrest in several U.S. cities, the coronavirus crisis, the national debate over the future of policing, the economic recession and the 2020 election was the foundation for a revolution in the U.S. He told Jay that:
“I want to say this is how things like 1917 and Russia, like 1979 and Tehran, and like 1789 in France. This is how these sorts of things get started. So we’ve got to be very careful about how we deal with these things. And that worries me because we don’t have a very careful individual in the White House.”
Pre-planned chaos – who benefits?
While it certainly is possible that, in the event of a clear Biden win, President Trump could refuse to leave the White House or take other actions that would challenge the faith of many Americans in the national election system. However, while the TIP claims to be specifically concerned about this eventuality and about “safe guarding” democracy without favoring either candidate, that is clearly not the case, as their simulation of a clear Trump win shows that extreme, “undemocratic” behavior, in their view, is permissible if it prevents another four years of Trump. Yet, this clear double standard reveals that an influential group of “bipartisan” insiders are intent on creating a “constitutional crisis” if Trump wins and are planning for such a crisis regardless of the 2020 election’s results.
Well before the TIP or any of their affiliated groups emerged to conduct these doomsday election simulations, other groups were similarly engaged in “war games” that predicted complete chaos in the U.S. on election day as well as the imposition of martial law in the U.S. following the emergence of unprecedented unrest and disarray in the country.
Several of these I detailed in a series earlier this year, which mainly focused on the “Operation Blackout” simulationsconducted by the U.S.-Israeli company, Cybereason. That company has considerable ties to the U.S. and Israeli intelligence and its largest investor is Softbank. Notably, Softbank is named by the Eric Schmidt-led National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI) as forming the “backbone” of a global framework of A.I.-driven companies favored by the “cooperation” faction as a means of enacting the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” in cooperation with China’s economic and political elite.
In addition to Cybereason, several mainstream media reports and a series of suspect “predictions” from U.S. intelligence and other federal agencies released last year had seeded the narrative that the 2020 election would not only fail spectacularly, but that U.S. democracy “would never recover.” Now, with the TIP’s simulations added to the mix and the advent of the previously predicted chaos throughout the country with the 2020 election just two months away, it is clear that the November 3rd election will not only be a complete disaster, but a pre-planned one.
The question then becomes, who benefits from complete chaos on and following the 2020 election? As the TIP suggested in several of their simulations, the post-election role of the military in terms of domestic policing, incidentally the exact expertise of the TIP’s co-founder Rosa Brooks, looms large, as most of the aforementioned doomsday election simulations ended with the imposition of martial law or the military “stepping in” to resolve order and oversee the transition.
The domestic framework for imposing martial law in the U.S., via “continuity of government” protocols, was activated earlier this year under the guise of the coronavirus crisis and it remains in effect. Now, a series of groups deeply tied to the Washington establishment and domestic and foreign intelligence agencies have predicted the exact ways in which to engineer a failed election and manipulate its aftermath.
Who would stand to benefit the most from the imposition of martial law in the United States? I would argue that one need look no further than the battle within Washington power factions over the future of AI, which has been deemed of critical importance to national security by the public sector, the private sector and prominent think tanks. The Schmidt-led NSCAI and other bodies determining the country’s AI policy plan to implement a series of policies that will be deeply resisted by most Americans – from the elimination of individual car ownership to the elimination of cash as well as the imposition of an Orwellian surveillance system, among other things.
All of these agendas have advanced under the guise of combatting coronavirus, but their advance can only continue to use that justification for so long. For groups like the NSCAI, Americans must welcome these AI-driven advances or else, even if it means Americans face losing their jobs or their civil liberties. Otherwise, these groups and their billionaire backers argue, the U.S. will be “left out” and “left behind” when it comes time to set the new global standards for AI technology, as the U.S. will then be left in the dust by China’s growing AI industry, which is fed by its own implementation of these technologies.
By keeping Americans angry and distracted by the partisan divide through pre-planned election chaos, a “New America” waits in the wings – one that is coming regardless of what happens on election day. That is, of course, unless Americans quickly wake up to the ruse.