10/13/17

Trump Sanctions IRGC, Iran’s Terror History

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

For a list of sanctions placed on Iran, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, go here.

Today, President Trump delivered his talk about formally decertifying the JCPOA and naming all of the IRGC a terror organization, finally. This is a significant decision and it puts countries like Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon on notice to purge all IRGC from their territories.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration was laying the groundwork as it related to Hezbollah by offering a reward for 2 Hezbollah leaders.

None of these actions are without future conflict and militancy by Iran. Just in recent days, the Iranian militia in Iraq it appears has been planting advanced EFP’s, where one did in fact kill an American military soldier that was on a major road in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad.

“It was a classic ambush spot,” White said of the assault site, adding that the penetrator used was steel. Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon did not cast blame on any particular actor on the battlefield telling the Washington Post, “investigations are continuing into the type and quality of the bomb to better determine where it originated. To say whether or not ISIS did it or not — we have not determined that yet. We are not ruling anything out.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford told Congress in 2015, “I know the total number of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that were killed by Iranian activities, and the number has been recently quoted as about 500,” in a reference to EFP use in Iraq.

“What makes E.F.P.’s so deadly is that they form “slugs” at detonation that maintain their shape over distances of over 100 yards or more, traveling at speeds of nearly a mile per second. This allowed insurgent forces to hide these weapons far from the road, better camouflaging them and making them far more deadly,” The New York Times explained in 2013. More here.

Related reading: Trump Decertifying and Re-tooling Iran Nuclear Deal

Treasury Designates the IRGC under Terrorism Authority and Targets IRGC and Military Supporters under Counter-Proliferation Authority

10/13/2017

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) pursuant to the global terrorism Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 and consistent with the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.  OFAC designated the IRGC today for its activities in support of the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), which was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007, for providing support to a number of terrorist groups, including Hizballah and Hamas, as well as to the Taliban.  The IRGC has provided material support to the IRGC-QF, including by providing training, personnel, and military equipment.

Additionally, today OFAC designated four entities under E.O. 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters, for their support to the IRGC or Iran’s military.

“The IRGC has played a central role to Iran becoming the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror.  Iran’s pursuit of power comes at the cost of regional stability, and Treasury will continue using its authorities to disrupt the IRGC’s destructive activities,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “We are designating the IRGC for providing support to the IRGC-QF, the key Iranian entity enabling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s relentless campaign of brutal violence against his own people, as well as the lethal activities of Hizballah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups. We urge the private sector to recognize that the IRGC permeates much of the Iranian economy, and those who transact with IRGC-controlled companies do so at great risk.”

IRGC

The IRGC was designated today for the activities it undertakes to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF.  The IRGC, which is the parent organization of the IRGC-QF, was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on October 25, 2007, in connection with its support to Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs, and pursuant to E.O. 13553 on June 9, 2011 and E.O. 13606 on April 23, 2012, in connection with Iran’s human rights abuses.

The IRGC has provided material support to the IRGC-QF, including by providing training, personnel, and military equipment.  The IRGC has trained IRGC-QF personnel in Iran prior to their deployments to Syria, and has deployed at least hundreds of personnel from its conventional ground forces to Syria to support IRGC-QF operations.  IRGC personnel in Syria have provided military assistance to the IRGC-QF, and have been assigned to IRGC-QF units on the battlefield, where they provide critical combat support, including serving as snipers and machine gunners.

Additionally, the IRGC has recruited, trained, and facilitated the travel of Afghan and Pakistani nationals to Syria, where those personnel are assigned to, and fight alongside, the IRGC-QF.  The IRGC also has worked with the IRGC-QF to transfer military equipment to Syria.  The IRGC used both IRGC bases and civilian airports in Iran to transfer military equipment to Iraq and Syria for the IRGC-QF.

Further, while it is group think to bid Senator Corker good riddance, there is yet a fact that Corker introduced in 2015 INARA, legislation that Trump is advancing and included in his talking points regarding Iran.

Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to direct the President, within five days after reaching an agreement with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program, to transmit to Congress:

  • the text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes;
  • a related verification assessment report of the Secretary of State;
  • a certification that the agreement includes the appropriate terms, conditions, and duration of the agreement’s requirements concerning Iran’s nuclear activities, and provisions describing any sanctions to be waived, suspended, or otherwise reduced by the United States and any other nation or entity, including the United Nations; and
  • a certification that the agreement meets U.S. non-proliferation objectives, does not jeopardize the common defense and security, provides a framework to ensure that Iran’s nuclear activities will not constitute an unreasonable defense and security risk, and ensures that Iran’s permitted nuclear activities will not be used to further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose, including any related research.

The Secretary is directed to prepare a report assessing:

  • the Secretary’s capacity to verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement,
  • the adequacy of the agreement’s safeguards to ensure that Iran’s permitted activities will not be used to further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose, including research; and
  • the International Atomic Energy Agency’s capacity to implement the required verification regime.

In preparing a report the Secretary shall assume that Iran could:

  • use all measures not expressly prohibited by the agreement to conceal activities that violate its obligations under the agreement; and
  • alter or deviate from standard practices in order to impede verification efforts.

The foreign relations committees shall hold hearings and briefings to review an agreement during the 30-day period following the President’s transmittal of such agreement.

The congressional review period shall be 60 days for an agreement, including all materials required to be transmitted to Congress, that is transmitted between July 10, 2015, and September 7, 2015.

The President may not waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of statutory sanctions with respect to Iran or refrain from applying sanctions pursuant to an agreement prior to and during the transmission period and during the congressional review period.

The President may not waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of statutory sanctions with respect to Iran or refrain from applying sanctions pursuant to an agreement for:

  • 12 days after the date of passage of a congressional joint resolution of disapproval, and
  • 10 days after the date of a presidential veto of a congressional joint resolution of disapproval.

Specified deferrals, waivers, or other suspensions of statutory sanctions are excepted from such prohibitions.

It is the sense of Congress that:

  • the sanctions regime imposed on Iran by Congress is primarily responsible for bringing Iran to the table to negotiate on its nuclear program;
  • these negotiations are a critically important matter of national security and foreign policy for the United States and its closest allies;
  • this Act does not require a vote by Congress for the agreement to commence;
  • this Act provides for congressional review, including for approval, disapproval, or no action on statutory sanctions relief under an agreement; and
  • even though the agreement may commence, because the sanctions regime was imposed by Congress and only Congress can permanently modify or eliminate that regime, it is critically important that Congress have the opportunity to consider and take action affecting the statutory sanctions regime.

An action involving statutory sanctions relief by the United States pursuant to an agreement or the Joint Plan of Action:

  • may be taken if, during the review period, Congress enacts a joint resolution stating that Congress favors the agreement;
  • may not be taken if, during the review period, Congress enacts a joint resolution stating that Congress does not favor the agreement; or
  • may be taken if, following the review period, there is not enacted any such joint resolution.

The President shall keep Congress fully and currently informed of all aspects of Iranian compliance with respect to an agreement.

The President shall:

  • within 10 days of receiving information relating to a potentially significant breach or compliance incident by Iran submit it to Congress;
  • within 30 days after submitting such information determine whether it constitutes a material breach or compliance incident and report that determination to Congress as well as Iran’s action or failure to act that led to the material breach, actions necessary for Iran to cure the breach, and the status of Iran’s efforts to cure the breach; and
  • at least every 180 days thereafter report to Congress on Iran’s nuclear program and compliance with the agreement.

The President shall keep Congress fully informed of any initiative or negotiations with Iran concerning Iran’s nuclear program, including any new or amended agreement.

The President shall, at least every 90 days, determine whether the President is able to certify that:

  • Iran is fully implementing the agreement,
  • Iran has not committed a material breach of the agreement,
  • Iran has not taken any action that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program, and
  • suspension of sanctions against Iran is appropriate and proportionate to measures taken by Iran with respect to terminating its illicit nuclear program and vital to U.S. national security interests.

It is the sense of Congress that:

  • U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under an agreement;
  • issues not addressed by an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, including compensation for Americans held in captivity after the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, in 1979, the freedom of Americans held in Iran, the human rights abuses of the government of Iran against its own people, and the continued support of terrorism by the government of Iran, are matters critical to ensure justice and U.S. national security, and should be addressed;
  • the President should determine the agreement in no way compromises the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security, nor its support for Israel’s right to exist; and
  • in order to implement any long-term agreement reached between the P5+1 countries and Iran, it is critically important that Congress have the opportunity to review any agreement and take action to modify the statutory sanctions regime imposed by Congress.

If the President does not submit such certification or has determined that Iran has materially breached an agreement, Congress may initiate within 60 days expedited consideration of legislation reinstating statutory sanctions against Iran. Sets forth House and Senate provisions regarding such expedited consideration.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as:

  • modifying the President’s authority to negotiate, enter into, or implement executive agreements, other than the restrictions on implementation of the agreements specifically covered by this Act;
  • allowing any new waiver, suspension, reduction, or other relief from statutory sanctions with respect to Iran under any provision of law, or allowing the President to refrain from applying any such sanctions pursuant to an agreement during the period for congressional review;
  • revoking or terminating any statutory sanctions imposed on Iran; or
  • authorizing the use of military force against Iran.

10/13/17

Trump’s EO Halting Insurance Subsidies Comes from Boehner

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

CNBC: The Trump administration will immediately stop making critically important payments to insurers who sell Obamacare health plans, a bombshell move that is expected to spike premium prices and potentially lead many insurers to exit the marketplace.

The decision to end the billions of dollars worth of so-called cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments came after months of threats by President Donald Trump to do just that. The news came only hours after Trump signed an executive order that Obamacare advocates said could badly harm the individual insurance marketplaces.

Advocates, along with insurers, health-care provider groups, patient groups and officials in many states, have expressed concerns for months that the cost-sharing reimbursements would be cut off by Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sharply criticized Trump in a series of Twitter posts late Thursday.

Two months ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that individual health plan premiums would be 20 percent higher than originally projected if the payments ceased. It also projected that premiums would be 25 percent higher than they otherwise would be by 2020, and that the federal deficit would be increased by almost $200 billion if the subsidies ended.

The payments, worth $7 billion or so to insurers this year and up to $10 billion or more next year, reimburse insurers for discounts in out-of-pocket health costs they give to low-income Obamacare customers. The discounts must be offered by law.

However, congressional Republicans successfully challenged in a lawsuit the Obama administration’s decision to make the reimbursement payments to insurers without getting the express budgetary authorization from Congress.

Now, both California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said they would file lawsuits seeking to prevent Trump from ending the subsidies.

The two were part of a group of 18 state attorneys general who were given permission this year to intervene in the pending appeal of the federal court decision that had ruled the payments were illegal given their lack of congressional authorization.

*** While the Democrats are crying sabotage, they refuse to tell you that there is a legal ruling that says this funding is illegal. The Obama administration via the Treasury Department essentially stole money from various government agencies to subsidize insurance providers since Congress did not appropriate the funds.

In part it played out this way:

When House Republicans first came up with the idea to take the president to court nearly two years ago, they planned to sue the administration over a completely different part of Obamacare. Then-Speaker John Boehner was, as usual, facing pressure from conservatives who were frustrated at Obama’s liberal use of executive authority and their inability to derail the hated health-care law. So he and his leadership team hatched a plan to file a lawsuit accusing the president and his administration of exceeding their authority by unilaterally delaying the implementation of the employer mandate in Obamacare. The requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees provide insurance to their workers had long been a big target for Republicans and one of the more contentious policies in the law. It was the middle of the mid-term congressional campaigns, and Republicans suspected the administration was delaying the mandate to put off the political pain of compliance until after the election.

“The president changed the health-care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it,” Boehner said in a statement at the time. “That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own.” The irony was that House Republicans had repeatedly assailed the employer mandate as a jobs killer, and yet here they were suing to force the administration to implement it faster. Read more here.

10/13/17

Trump Decertifying and Re-tooling Iran Nuclear Deal

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The Iran Deal (JCPOA) has taken an inordinate amount of attention away from all of the other ways Iran destabilizes and attempts to dominate the region. The Trump team will now take a holistic approach to Iran that uses all aspects of US power and engages our allies in the effort as well. The goal is to roll back Iranian use of their proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere to extend Iranian influence toward eventual hegemony. It will also address Iranian support of terrorism and violations of other international agreements such as US Security Council Resolutions.

This will take many forms, one of which is the President declining to certify that the JCPOA as it currently exists is in the national interest. It most certainly is not and it’s time to either fix it or forget it. The entire reason to do a deal was to ensure Iran never got nuclear weapons, the JCPOA actually paved Iran a path to them with “sunset clauses” that remove all prohibitions after no more than 15 years.

Iran’s ballistic missile program was specifically excluded from the JCPOA in a stunning case of national security malfeasance. There is no use for these other than to deliver a nuclear warhead and allowing Iran to continue their development cannot be tolerated. This will be another area where the US will focus all elements of our influence on ensuring Iran will be unable to deliver any payload to our shores.

It remains to be seen if a better deal can be made, but we need to make the effort. That will require some leverage and another piece of the plan will be designating all of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. They are and recognizing this will make it much tougher for them to use the many businesses and front groups they have developed to conduct and support terror operations worldwide.

There will also be actions to rein in the Iranian-led militias operating across Iraq and Syria. While they may be mostly made up of Iraqi citizens, too many have loyalty to the Mullahs in Tehran. These Shia militias now control large swaths of territory in the Sunni areas of Iraq that were just liberated from ISIS. They conducted amounts of massive sectarian slaughter during the counter-ISIS operations and it is still going on. They must be moved out.

Hezbollah is another Iranian proxy which has sent tens of thousands of fighters into Syria. They are flush with some of the hundreds of millions of dollars Iran has given them out of the cash bonanza from the Iran Deal. They have been receiving US funds which were given to the Lebanese Armed Forces and then funneled to Hezbollah. This will come to a stop under the new plan. More here.

Related reading: JCPOA as published by the John Kerry State Department

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump is likely to take a major step against the international nuclear deal with Iran on Friday, laying out a more aggressive approach to Iranian activities in the Middle East that risks upsetting U.S. relations with European allies.

“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said in a White House statement that flagged key elements of the strategy.

He is to present his plan in a 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT)speech at the White House, the product of weeks of internal discussions between him and his national security team.

U.S. officials said Trump was expected to announce that he will not certify the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers, one he has called the “worst deal ever” as it was not, in his view, in the U.S. national interest.

Trump found himself under immense pressure as he considered de-certifying the deal, a move that would ignore warnings from inside and outside his administration that to do so would risk undermining U.S. credibility abroad.

He had formally reaffirmed it twice before but aides said he was reluctant to do so a third time.

De-certification would not pull the United States out of the deal but would give the Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Tehran that were suspended under the pact, negotiated during the administration of President Barack Obama.

U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told Reuters he thinks Trump “is likely to not completely pull out of the deal, but decertify compliance.”

IRANIAN WARNING

If Washington quits the deal, that will be the end of it and global chaos could ensue, Iran’s influential parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, was quoted by the Russian news agency TASS as saying during a visit to St Petersburg on Friday.

U.N. nuclear inspectors say Iran is in compliance with the accord, which limited the scope of Iran’s nuclear program to help ensure it could not be put to developing bombs in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions on Tehran.

Trump says Tehran is in violation of the spirit of the agreement and has done nothing to rein in its ballistic missile program or its financial and military support for the Lebanese Shi‘ite movement Hezbollah and other militant groups.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said on Thursday the U.S. approach toward Iran is to work with allies in the Middle East to contain Tehran’s activities.

“We have footprints on the ground, naval and Air Force is there to just demonstrate our resolve, our friendship, and try to deter anything that any country out there may do,” Kelly told reporters.

European allies warn of a split with the United States over the nuclear agreement, in part because they are benefiting economically from a relaxation of sanctions.

A variety of European allies, including the leaders of Britain and France, have personally appealed to Trump to re-certify the nuclear accord for the sake of allied unity.

Germany’s government pledged on Friday to work for continued unity if Trump de-certified the deal as Berlin remain convinced the agreement was an important tool to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel underscored German views in a telephone call with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson late on Thursday, his spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told reporters.

Gabriel said on Thursday U.S. behavior was driving a wedge between Europe and its close ally United States and bringing Europeans closer to Russia and China. “It’s imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue,” said Gabriel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Friday that if the United States withdrew from the deal, “this will damage the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and non-proliferation in the entire world”.

U.S. MOVE AGAINST REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS

McCaul said he expected Trump also to announce some kind of action against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s most powerful security force. Trump is under a legal mandate to impose U.S. economic sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards as a whole by Oct. 31 or waive them.

U.S. sanctions could seriously hurt the IRGC as it controls large swaths of Iran’s economy. The Guards’ foreign paramilitary and espionage wing, the Quds Force, is under U.S. sanctions, as is the Quds Force commander, other officials and associated individuals and entities.

The 2015 nuclear agreement, signed by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union and Iran, has been denounced by Trump as “an embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever.”

10/13/17

The Denise Simon Experience – 10/12/17

The Denise Simon Experience

Hosted by DENISE SIMON, the Senior Research / Intelligence Analyst for Foreign and Domestic Policy for numerous flag officers and intelligence organizations.

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10/13/17

Facebook Scrubbed Data, Possible Obstruction of Investigation

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Related reading: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg meets with lawmakers investigating Russia-linked Facebook ads

Blame ‘crowdtangle’ among others. As noted on their site: the easiest way to keep track of what’s happening in social media. Other sites such as meltwater broadcasts that they are ‘influencers’ and then leaderboards are created such that real or hoax operations become a trending topic.

Lots of fake news gets blamed on bloggers posing as official media outlets, while quoting unnamed sources and rightly so. Some of those blogs are concoctions of Moscow, while other websites repeated fake stories stoking issues and divisions within the United States from Russia media outlets such as Sputnik News and RT.

Facebook is the location of choice for millions to park links and fake items resulting in Facebook often being referred to as Fakebook.

Moscow, along with other social media tech software in the United States created algorithms that counted ‘likes and ‘shares’, which then manifested unreliable stories and questionable sources. These analytic tools have become the norm across the world and consequentially having credibility and reliance on issues or stories has fallen.

It all boils down to communication, collaboration, branding, feedback and scoring results. You are the sheep, money is made from your activity on social media with every keystroke and you don’t get paid a dime… secret financial extortion, meaning without your knowledge, unless you read ALL the mice type. Facebook is a master and frankly a player where you are being punked.

This is yet another form of cyber-warfare…

Facebook scrubbed potentially damning Russia data before researchers could analyze it further.

  • Facebook scrubbed thousands of posts shared during the 2016 campaign by accounts linked to Russia.
  • The removals came as a Columbia University researcher was examining their reach.
  • Facebook says the posts were removed to fix a glitch.

BI: Facebook removed thousands of posts shared during the 2016 election by accounts linked to Russia after a Columbia University social media researcher, Jonathan Albright, used the company’s data analytics tool to examine the reach of the Russian accounts.

Albright, who discovered the content had reached a far broader audience than Facebook initially acknowledged, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the data had allowed him “to at least reconstruct some of the pieces of the puzzle” of Russia’s election interference.

“Not everything, but it allowed us to make sense of some of this thing,” he said.

Facebook confirmed that the posts had been removed, but said it was because the company had fixed a glitch in the analytics tool — called CrowdTangle — that Albright had used.

“We identified and fixed a bug in CrowdTangle that allowed users to see cached information from inactive Facebook Pages,” said Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman.

Facebook’s decision to remove the posts from public view raised questions about whether the company could be held liable for suppressing potential evidence, given its role in the wide-ranging investigation of Russia’s election interference.

Albright told Business Insider that “because this is clearly a legal and imminent justice-related matter, I can’t provide much critical insight at this stage.

“I feel like my 10 rounds with the $500 billion dollar tech juggernaut are over,” he said.

Legal experts and scholars on the subject say scrubbing the data Albright used for his research is Facebook’s prerogative as long as it isn’t knowingly removing content sought under a court order or by government request.

“If Facebook has no reason to think that it should retain the data (subpoena, court order), then it can make choices about what appears on its platform,” said Danielle Citron, a professor of law at the University of Maryland, where she teaches and writes about information privacy.

Citron said Facebook and other private tech companies have in the past argued, successfully, that they have free speech interests and enjoy immunity from liability for the content posted by their users — immunity that extends to their ability to remove it if it violates their terms of service.

Albert Gidari, the director of privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, said it’s likely that Facebook has kept copies of “anything at issue as part of its preservation obligation” in light of special counsel Robert Mueller’s search warrant and the House and Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas.

Gidari said that because there hasn’t been any allegation against Facebook itself, the company has no obligation, absent a court order, to maintain information “that later may be evidence.”

But the question becomes more complicated when considering the ethical obligations of a company whose tools were exploited by a foreign adversary to try to influence a US election.

Gidari, for his part, said he doesn’t think “any platform has an independent or ethical obligation to run a research playground for third-party data analysts.”

But Tom Rubin, a lecturer at Stanford Law School, said that Facebook’s “credibility as a global social platform and its responsibility as an internet giant require it to fully embrace an independent, urgent and public review of the facts.”

“Facebook’s Russia predicament is of its own doing — it controls the platform, runs the ads, and profits mightily,” said Rubin, who previously served as the assistant US Attorney in New York heading investigations and prosecutions of computer crimes.

“The investigation here is as serious as it gets: illegal and hostile foreign influence on the US presidential election,” Rubin said. “The issue confronting Facebook is the extent to which it should commit to complete transparency, and the answer to that is straightforward.”

Citron agreed.

“For transparency’s sake and for our broader interest in our democracy, people should know the extent to which they have been played by the Russians and how a hostile state actor has interfered with, manipulated, and generally hacked our political process,” she said.

That is what Albright said was his mission when he downloaded the last 500 posts shared by six accounts that Facebook has confirmed were operating out of Russia. Those accounts — Blacktivists, Being Patriotic, Secured Borders,  Heart of Texas, LGBT United, and Muslims of America — were among the 470 pages Facebook shut down in September as part of its purge of “inauthentic accounts” linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency.

The data Albright obtained using CrowdTangle showed that the Russians’ reach far exceeded the number of Facebook users they were able to access with advertisements alone — content including memes, links, and other miscellaneous postings was shared over 340 million times between the six accounts.

The other 464 accounts closed by Facebook have not yet been made public. If they are, an analysis of their combined posts would likely reveal that their content was shared an estimated billions of times during the election.