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This article appears in the January 21, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

A Truly Evil Golem: Billionaire Peter Thiel and his Palantir

[Print version of this article]

Jan. 9—An international outcry is mounting against multi-billionaire Peter Thiel’s company Palantir, hatched in Silicon Valley and nurtured by In-Q-Tel, the not-for-profit venture capital fund created by the CIA. Palantir is a computer software provider that has chalked up billions of dollars in management contracts—many of them highly classified—from agencies of the U.S. government and allied governments. Cited by media, stock market analysts, and aroused foreign government officials as a highly secretive, aggressive, and invasive example of what some call “surveillance capitalism,” Palantir has contracted with the Pentagon, anti-terror divisions of the National Security Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, a contract they lost to a rival at year end), local police departments in the U.S. and Europe, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) operations overseeing the COVID-19 crisis. Palantir also has security-related contracts with the French and UK governments.

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The incorporation of Peter Thiel’s Palantir Technologies into government projects demonstrates why privatization of the military is a threat to our constitutional Republic.

An associated company called Valar Ventures has extensive international ties, and through Thiel’s partner, a veritable Mad Hatter named Alex Karp, Palantir is vying to expand business into countries “allied with the U.S.” Palantir makes clear that it excludes the leading targets of the warhawk fanatics, namely Russia and China.

In focusing on Peter Thiel, Alex Karp, and Palantir, this report unveils the ongoing process by which the Military-Industrial Complex, warned against by President Eisenhower in 1961, has evolved into the true threat to Americans and humanity at large, as opposed to fraudulently alleged foreign adversaries. Silicon Valley, where research into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the creation of the Internet was centered, houses a circuit of “old money” and elite investment outlets that surround Stanford University and have emerged as a channel for private lending to the war economy. As AI and other electronic innovations were promoted, the money interests in the area spawned a system of spitting out “start-up” billionaires through a highly speculative racket connected to worldwide hedge funds, the 1990s NASDAQ bubble, and other private sources. As the capabilities of data management grew, this new class of billionaires—typified by Thiel’s seminal role in financing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—were integrated into the U.S. intelligence and military establishments.

Former General of the Army President Eisenhower warned in his 1961 Farewell Address that the maintenance of a vast military production system “during peacetime” as never existed before, was a challenge fraught with danger for the United States after World War II. The Cold War—which had been deliberately orchestrated by the Anglo-American elites, notably including the brothers Allen and John Foster Dulles—compelled the United States, Eisenhower stated, “to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.” President Eisenhower added, “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

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Left: cc/Dan Taylor; right: BKA/Arno Melicharek
Left: Multi-billionaire Peter Thiel, co-founder of Palantir; right: Alex Karp, mad hatter, co-founder and CEO of Palantir.

The Palantir circle is to be viewed as a most significant, present-day case of such disastrous “misplaced power.” Since no later than his association with Stanford, Thiel has been groomed to adapt to explicitly fascist ideology. This was well known when he and Karp were selected by the CIA’s In-Q-Tel to provide data services to the intelligence community, and then advanced to more influence. The interface of such financially-linked ideologues to our military system poses a dire threat to the very existence of government based on the U.S. Constitution.

There is already a blowback underway against Palantir, as documented below. That blowback must grow into a full-scale battle against the underlying policy driving this atrocity, which is called “privatization of the military,” and which was greatly advanced by two icons of the Anglo-American Establishment, the Hoover Institution’s George Shultz and New York banker Felix Rohatyn. The threads tying them to Palantir are elaborated here.

Thiel and the Battle Around Trump

Palantir was founded in 2004. In the hyper-security-state environment created by the signing of the Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Palantir was quickly made an integral part of the surveillance apparatus. Its existence was kept relatively quiet for many years. In 2016, Thiel touched off an unusual breakout of media attention when one of his associates announced that Thiel would be donating $1.25 million to back Donald Trump, upsetting the Silicon Valley billionaire trend of only backing liberal candidates, and fueling the media rage against Trump. In reality, Thiel had a different agenda: He placed $1 million with the ultra-right-wing “Make America Number 1” political action committee (PAC) founded by the Mercer family and overseen by the duplicitous Steve Bannon, and the rest with a multi-candidate Republican fund. Nothing went to Trump’s campaign, with whom he voiced “disagreements.” By 2017, it was clear that Thiel’s disagreements were in line with the intelligence community diktat that Trump would not be allowed to build a dialogue on economic policy with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Thiel, and the wildly anti-China Bannon, worked in parallel, undermining Trump’s most important foreign policy effort, weakening his Presidency, and encouraging the chaos that doomed his re-election.[fn_1]

Palantir’s poor performance in managing data gathering for the U.S. health system when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in 2020 certainly added to the chaos. The company sells data analytics services, capable of combining and/or disaggregating huge amounts of information, including data gathered from diverse sources and platforms. These platforms include old programs, sometimes in outdated computer languages, which the client is still using, but needs to integrate into a modern system.

When HHS hired Palantir to take in all information pertaining to COVID-19, the company failed to rigorously direct hospitals to change their procedures. Many medical facilities continued to send their reports to the Centers for Disease Control. Palantir should have foreseen such a problem, considering the chaotic situation around the country, but failed to provide an interface with the CDC. As a result, large amounts of data were lost. Strangely, when Joe Biden was inaugurated, Palantir’s HHS contract was renewed.

When data companies are hired to improve classified or police data systems, they recombine vast amounts of private information about citizens and businesses. Also, these governmental data banks have much greater access to social media—such as personal information on Facebook—than private organizations. Palantir always insists that it never touches such private information, but simply passes it on, unseen, to the client. Many human rights and privacy watchdog organizations question that claim.

A Stanford Monster

Thiel is a groomed specimen of the Stanford University human zoo which spawned the Silicon Valley features of the U.S. computer industry. As soon as he created Thiel Capital in 1996, his first start-up, and brought his chum Karp from Stanford Law School to help him run it, Thiel operated from the assumption that by being connected to Stanford, he could get away with anything.

That is how he created PayPal in 1998, the payment platform which he forced upon the eBay auction website, threatening a lawsuit against its payment provider Elon Musk, if Thiel were not allowed to “compete.” PayPal’s practices during Thiel’s ownership were notorious, with subpoenas arriving at its Palo Alto office from state attorneys documenting illegal internet gambling, money laundering, and peculiar cases in which PayPal allowed foreign depositors to steal money from them. While some law enforcement agencies wanted to investigate Thiel’s operation, the FBI started visiting his offices to study and use the software that had been put together by Thiel’s star code-writer, Max Levchin, an émigré from Ukraine, because Levchin had figured out a way to establish the identity of people, including people overseas, who opened accounts but gave no personal information.

Thiel encountered Levchin on the Stanford campus, where Thiel, after he had graduated, would occasionally lecture. It was Levchin’s software that later aroused the intelligence community’s interest in Thiel and his 2004 start-up Palantir.

Setting the Stage

At this current time of grave strategic crisis, the purpose of examining what Palantir employees named “Thielverse,” is to yank a proverbial thread that can then unwind the knitted strait-jacket fitted upon the U.S. and allied countries in the form of a cyber-technology police-state apparatus run by globalist financiers, existentialist academic ideologues, and political wanna-be dictators housed in neoconservative think-tanks.

The Thiel/Karp collection of corporate contractors for military and surveillance operations emerged out of a process that began 30 years ago. This report views that process as an example of classical tragedy.

In a trial in San Jose, California, the jury was conflicted over whether to convict the owner of Theranos, a start-up that got out of control. Elizabeth Holmes, the owner, had a long association with Stanford University. The case, which began in 2018, and the trial, were turned into a media stunt, and the politically relevant question—namely, why did former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, as well as General James Mattis and billionaire Betsy de Vos, sister of Blackwater founder Erik Prince, join Holmes’ board of directors—was taken out of the publicity, while exposé movies and feature articles poured out soap-opera details about Holmes’s personal life.

In viewing the case of Thiel, this report ignores the many personal details of his life readily found in other sources. Thiel is a product of a multi-generational, international fascist academic circle grouped around Chicago University’s late Professor Leo Strauss and his Stanford University co-thinker Rene Girard. To comprehend the roots of Thiel’s depraved mindset, and how it has become intertwined with the post-9/11 police-state apparatus generated by corrupt intelligence agencies, requires not soap opera, but the method of classical drama.

The art of classical drama demonstrates how the evil crimes of the past may cast dark shadows over the present, but once comprehended, can provoke mankind to discover and create a pathway to a better future. The dramas of the great classicists induce an understanding as to why deceased personalities—both evil, but more significantly, the heroically good—exert greater influence over culture and values than even the living. The experience of these lessons enables the living to face otherwise terrifying problems: Today it’s the financier-linked surveillance state that has emerged since 9/11 and the danger of nuclear war. We can, with that enhanced understanding, create viable solutions to such seemingly intractable problems.

In this study, we present a cast of characters who paved the way for the rise of Peter Thiel, including George Shultz and Felix Rohatyn (both deceased), two dominant establishment figures who directly shaped the strategic crisis we live in, as well as the still-living Dick Cheney, an extension of the Bush dynasty who served as a Shultz/Rohatyn willing tool. Also presented is an introduction to the academic assembly of “neo-Straussian” professors who groom suitable students like Thiel to promote blatantly fascist belief systems beyond their classrooms into the pores of society, both inside the U.S. and worldwide.

The Truth About ‘Privatization’

Thirty years ago, Thiel and Karp were law students at Stanford University, birthing headquarters of what in the 1960s had come to be called “Silicon Valley.” At that time, a shift in Anglo-American policy orientation was underway, with the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent decision by Russia to dismember the Soviet Union. Among the western policy reactions to these truly tectonic upheavals was a policy named “privatization of the military.” Its implementation was delegated to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney under then President George H.W. Bush.

Ten years later, following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Cheney, as Vice-President, pursued this structural reorganization of the military even more aggressively, undermining rather than strengthening U.S. national security. Thiel’s Palantir was formally created in 2004, as the National Security Agency (NSA), in coordination with the CIA, moved to dump in-house data management teams, employed directly by the federal government, and replace them with for-profit contracting firms. Palantir was one among many ambitious computer “start-ups” vying for post-9/11 contracts with the federal security agencies.[fn_2]

According to Palantir executive Stephen Cohen, at that time a 21-year-old software coding whiz whom Thiel recruited from the Stanford campus, the CIA’s In-Q-Tel took Palantir under its wing, giving it training assignments to qualify it for hiring. Whereas seasoned and patriotic coordinators of NSA intelligence requirements were harassed and threatened for identifying why the intelligence agencies had failed to halt the 9/11 assault before it happened, the power- and money-hungry Thiel gang, and other ambitious start-ups, were coddled and groomed at repeated high-level intelligence gatherings held to select replacements for these experts.[fn_3]

At the present crisis-ridden juncture, a radical return to Cold War-style provocations has dangerously emerged, compelling Russia to publicly charge that American private military companies (PMCs) have been sent into Eastern Ukraine to stage false-flag chemical warfare attacks, there is now a distinct danger the world might trip over the tripwire into nuclear war. It is therefore time to face the reality that sensitive electronic services, including espionage, have increasingly not been under the management of seasoned government professionals—who often disagree with the secretive intelligence apparatus—but since the launching of “privatization” in the 1980s, have been put under direction by fascist-leaning financial interests. Even were thermonuclear war avoided in the foreseeable period ahead, as Lyndon LaRouche sternly warned in 2006, allowing such “unhinged” corporate personalities to be part of the mixture of people assigned to strategically sensitive functions, mimics precisely the explosive chemistry which led to the rise of 20th-Century fascism and Hitler’s intended program of a global system of international “Waffen-SS rule, had Hitler won World War II.”[fn_4]

The reference to Hitler is not hyperbole. Thiel, like many Neocons, publicly states that he is an admirer of Professor Leo Strauss, the protégé of German jurist Carl Schmitt who approved the Notverordnung (emergency decree) that legitimized the Hitler dictatorship. Thiel was introduced to Strauss’ apologetics for dictatorship[fn_5] while at Stanford and continues to promote Straussian “philosophy” (as you will read below).

From Stanford to Cheney

As the 1950s Cold War mounted, a war-mongering clique gathered around the Hoover Institution—which sits on the Stanford campus—began a decades-long orientation to build an aura of “magic” around so-called “computer science.” This was viewed as a key American advantage over the Soviets. The intention was to keep control of computer technology, as much as possible, in the hands of those committed to eternal Anglo-American strategic and nuclear superiority. Reflecting the cynical mindset of those who were addicted to “brinksmanship” and war, a key step in getting that control was to merge sections of the computer industry with California’s movie entertainment economy based in Hollywood. Soon, by the 1960s, the Haight-Ashbury drug culture was added to the “magical” aromas that were popularly presented as characteristics of the nature of the computer world.

Thiel lives in that make-believe world. Though he is a self-proclaimed “conservative” opposed to Silicon Valley liberalism, his mindset is kaleidoscopically gripped by fantasy images that generate his colliding opinions. (The peculiar patterns in Thiel’s stated beliefs and behaviors caused his primary biographer Max Chafkin, after intensive investigation, to name his book The Contrarian, Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power.)

Some of those images in Thiel’s mind come straight out of the Hollywood/drug-culture of the 1960s. This incoherent matrix is the source of the odd names he has given his companies. Palantir, Anduril, Mithril, Valar, etc., are names adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy Lord of the Rings cycle, which he brags to have fully memorized in his adolescence. His law school buddy, Alex Karp, is a different personality type, but an even more extreme case of this syndrome.[fn_6]

Putting aside other dark mental cavities pertaining to Thiel’s academic training, there is a second consideration.

Thirty years ago, neo-conservative Republican Dick Cheney, appointed Secretary of Defense for George Bush, Sr., was selected by Wall Street to act as the driver for “privatization of the military.” Cheney altered the military supply system, such that the array of services required in war zones and training camps would no longer be manned or managed by military personnel.

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Former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger.

The intention behind this program was not to improve national security, or even to “win” wars. Rather, in reaction to the huge 1987 drop in the stock market, and to hide the catastrophic effect of Wall Street’s post-1971 dictum that the U.S. must move away from industrial manufacturing to become a “services economy,” Wall Street embraced radical “privatization” of military supply systems and pressured captive politicians to implement that privatization.

Not only equipment, all services needed for deployment—everything from laundry to sensitive computer software—would be contracted to a select grouping of corporations, forming a powerful cartel.

This reorganization of the military system included top British firms, bestowing upon Wall Street power brokers and their friends in London greater influence over strategic policy, including in respect to matters of war or peace.[fn_7] This is not something all military professionals accepted. But, the scheme came from the highest levels of the Anglo-American Establishment in reaction to Moscow’s 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. With the exception of some remarkable bankers in newly reunified Germany, the trans-Atlantic financial Establishment and its NATO extensions rejected the great opportunity for mankind to achieve peace through economic development, the policy that should have been selected after the demise of the Soviet system. Rather than cooperate with Russia and a unified Germany, the financial elites opted for a mad dash toward unipolar world government, or what today is called a “rules-based order,” under western control.

Cheney began pushing for privatization while overseeing the one-month, contrived 1991 invasion of Iraq called “Desert Storm.” Soon thereafter, fighting erupted in the disintegrating nation of Yugoslavia where, within a few years, the U.S. would be drawn into major bombing missions. Cheney’s guiding role was interrupted when Bush Sr. was defeated for re-election by a population not interested in pursuing war. In 1994, Cheney joined “privatization” on the corporate end, becoming president of Halliburton, the oil and gas services company, hungry for military contracts. As is often noticed, this landed Cheney a large financial bonanza that has lasted to this day. Later, when the Supreme Court in 2000 awarded the Presidency to George W. Bush, Cheney returned to government as a literal “President of Vice,” becoming the dominant figure in the administration, pursuing privatization full force once the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack had occurred.[fn_8]

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Former Vice-President Dick Cheney, selected by Wall Street to be the driver for privatization of the military.
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Former Secretary of State, George P. Shultz, a carrier of Synarchism into the United States.

The Haunting Presence of George Shultz

However, Cheney was never his own man. More influential within the ranks of the Establishment in shaping economic and political dynamics was the late George Shultz, former Nixon cabinet member and Reagan-era Secretary of State. As part of his treasonous career, Shultz had a long-term relationship with Stanford University, and was revered in the corridors of the Hoover Institution.

Upon retirement from government in 1989, Shultz purchased a house on the Stanford campus, where, until his death in February 2021, he huddled for three decades with his dear Hoover Institution friends. Due to his lineage, Shultz always had a special status among U.S. and European financial elites. His father, Birl Earl Shultz, through his work for the American International Corporation located at 120 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, was associated with the highest ranks of European Synarchism, or what some investigators have called “the Anglo-Soviet Trust.” The Synarchist financial apparatus, after World War I, financed and manipulated many of the fascist and communist movements throughout Europe, playing them as toys against each other while advancing dictatorships and war. The Synarchist games were a leading factor as to why the First World War, seemingly inexorably, led towards the even more deadly World War II. Following that war, in 1957 Shultz was brought onto the economics faculty of the University of Chicago, allowing him to work closely with the infamous Milton Friedman, one of the leading exemplars of the Synarchist outlook Shultz’s father had also embraced.

Shultz’s prestigious status within the Establishment positioned him during the Bush Sr. term to craft the “Vulcans,” an elite faction within the Republican Party determined to obliterate Ronald Reagan’s nonpartisan legacy (which had included collaboration with Lyndon LaRouche). Fully aware that the western financial system was weakening, Shultz tossed off conventional Republican conservatism, to push the Party’s top circles towards outright fascist economic and strategic policies.

Shultz did all of this while living in elegance on the ostensibly left-wing Stanford University campus. When Shultz first settled there, Thiel was already a controversial celebrity. In 1987, Thiel had founded Stanford Review, the first-ever conservative-oriented student publication printed at that campus. For two decades, Thiel recruited nearly all of the employees of his many “start-up” companies either directly from the Stanford Review editorial board, or from wandering around the campus to find students who were whiz-kids at computer coding. Though there appears to be no printed or electronic evidence showing that Shultz and Thiel ever met, both were frequent guests at activities sponsored by the Hoover Institution, and Thiel continues to be so to this day.[fn_9] According to a former Stanford student, “The affinity between the Review and the Hoover Institution is plain as day on campus. The Review glowingly promotes and covers Hoover events.”

As noted, Thiel and Shultz both believed that if you are properly connected at Stanford, you can get away with anything.

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EIRNS/Dan Sturman
Lazard Frères banker Felix Rohatyn helped to force the privatization of the military.

Now Enters ‘Mr. Fix-It,’ Felix Rohatyn

In October 2004, as the Iraq and Afghanistan air attacks began deteriorating into endless war, Shultz teamed up with Lazard Frères banker Felix Rohatyn, Wall Street’s ghoulish financial “sage,” to hold a private, one-day conference at Middlebury College, Vermont, where the subject was none other than “Privatization of the Military.”[fn_10] Examining Rohatyn provides another important element of the destructive role of the “Synarchist” financial alliance.

As statesman Lyndon LaRouche emphasized in his 2006 review of Middlebury’s war-mongering event, the intention behind the Shultz-Rohatyn gathering, to be coordinated ultimately with Cheney, was to escalate[fn_11]

“world government” (so-called globalization), in which private armies and private secret police forces, all employed by private consortia in the image of Halliburton and Bechtel, operate a new form of world dictatorship, killing any persons or groups of persons who are disliked, and enforcing arbitrary laws crafted by private financial interests’ bureaucrats.

During the Middlebury conference, Rohatyn argued that the only difference between running a military operation by government rather than private business is the government’s right “to kill people.” Rohatyn expounded, “… I think [privatization] is here to stay and there’s no point in arguing that issue…. I believe it is inevitable that more and more ranking officers will leave the Pentagon and go with private companies, and then go back to the military as contractors, with businesses that have far greater market values.”

Lazard banker Rohatyn’s boasting, in the aftermath of the devastating attack of 9/11, that governments are disposable, that war adds to the market value of corporations, and that the world should be run by financiers, is entirely true to his character. What made Lazard banker Rohatyn famous was his 1975 creation of New York City’s emergency Municipal Assistance Corporation, which became known as Big MAC. This monstrous private banker council, which was spawned following a media hype asserting that New York was bankrupt, destroyed the City’s economy over a 38-year period.[fn_12] Big MAC’s ax-wielding attacks on wages, finance for public transportation and healthcare, and huge cutbacks in education, have not only reduced America’s largest city to a smoldering heap, but the Big MAC system has been adopted as a template for eliminating the power of elected government overall. Rohatyn’s bank, Lazard Frères, had long since been involved in the feral origins of European Synarchy.

The ‘Straussian Moment’ of Synarchist Techno-Fascism

Palantir was founded in 2004 with funds Thiel raised by selling PayPal after years of bargaining with billionaire Meg Whitman, the owner of eBay, for $1.5 billion. The first $50 million investment to create Palantir came directly out of Thiel’s pocket.

He and Karp went looking for more funding for the dream project, something they had yearned for even prior to 9/11, namely, selling software to the intelligence community. Their goal was not only to get their hands on more money: Thiel and Karp were ideologues—one right-wing, the other “progressive”—but both wedded to the view that corporate power must reign over “politics” to construct a utopian world system they had been academically groomed to believe in.

According to Cohen, it was through contact with Gilman Louie, at that time head of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s own venture capital fund, that Thiel and Karp were invited behind the closed doors of the U.S. intelligence community. According to Chafkin, they also met with former Bush Sr. crony John Poindexter and former CIA head George Tenet. In constant visits to Washington, D.C., accompanied by whiz-kid Cohen, the CIA reviewed their software, and gave them a series of tasks to bring their output up to standard. This training extended over years, during which time, to remain solvent, Thiel created the venture capital fund Valar. It is noteworthy that two of the people who readily joined the Valar board didn’t come from Thiel’s usual circle of Stanford students, but were skilled attorneys from Skadden, Arps, a leading Establishment operation often called “the favorite law firm of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).”[fn_13] In running Valar, these “professionals” gave Thiel access to international investors.

According to employees, once Palantir, under CIA control, was underway, Thiel became engrossed in pursuing “philosophy.” Note in this regard that the day the Iraq invasion began, March 19, 2003, an editor of EIR magazine telephoned then Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche, to ask, “What do we do to stop this war?” LaRouche answered, “Destroy Leo Strauss,” exactly the same person Thiel had been persuaded by Stanford’s philosophy department to adopt as a role model.

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Wikimedia Commons/Univ. of Chicago
University of Chicago Professor Leo Strauss, admired by Peter Thiel, was an unapologetic admirer of Carl Schmitt, the jurist who approved Hitler’s emergency decree establishing his dictatorship.

Soon after that discussion, EIR launched an in-depth, emergency project to produce a mass pamphlet, and then a book, entitled Children of Satan, the most comprehensive, publicly available exposé of how the Anglo-American neoconservative movement and the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex had been taken over by Straussian ideologues who admired the efficiency of the Nazi regime. Massive circulation of the EIR exposés provoked others who knew this was happening, to get up the courage to publish major media exposés of the frightening influence of Chicago University Professor Leo Strauss’ apologetics for dictatorship.

Thiel, in a view opposite to that of the LaRouche movement, expressed in his philosophical meanderings a desire to see a big post-9/11 U.S. war of revenge. According to Chafkin, Thiel let it be known that his view was that the Bush II administration “wasn’t tough enough on Islam.” This was not just passing rhetoric; it was a reflection of a philosophical orientation which Thiel had internalized through academic training at Stanford.

In July 2004, Thiel financed a 6-day seminar of 13 people, including two leading Stanford figures: philosophy professor Rene Girard and former chaplain Robert Hamerton-Kelly. In a summary of the private proceeding that Hamerton-Kelly released in November 2004, he stated, “The impulse for holding” the seminar “came from a desire to understand better the current religious temper of international politics.”

What Hamerton-Kelly referenced was an intent to promote acceptance of his chum Girard’s perverse viewpoint that Islam exemplifies the most violent underpinnings of religious belief, which, according to Hamerton-Kelly, can only be countered by an ideology of vengeance. Denying any characteristic of agapē (love of mankind), or any related capacity for creative discovery through which mankind is able to cooperatively solve the common problems of humanity, Girard’s existentialist system, called “Mimetic Theory,” is based on a pathological absurdity. Like his Synarchist co-thinker Alexandre Kojève, another icon of the Strauss movement, Girard declared that human nature is determined irrevocably by “imitation.” Since ancient civilizations and accounts within the Bible portray violence, man, through imitation, has become irreparably violent. Girard’s outpourings are a variant of the “beastman” philosophy of the murder-hungry Joseph de Maistre, the French precursor of 20th-Century fascism, who justified the Jacobin massacres of the French Revolution in defense of his freemasonic, “Martinist-order” friends.

In 2007, Thiel published a reflection on the seminar entitled, “The Straussian Moment.”[fn_14] It opens by misinforming the reader that the founder of the American Revolution was British empiricist John Locke, whose anti-Franklin formula, “Life, Liberty, and Property,” was adopted by the Confederacy! Thiel proceeds from that illiterate assertion, through which he also claims that the outlook of the Revolution (as he invents it) no longer survives in the minds of Americans. Stating the presumption that the disappearance of Locke’s influence means that “politics” has become irrelevant, Thiel proceeds to build up a logical structure presuming to prove that Prof. Leo Strauss’ fawning adjustments to the noble views of Carl Schmitt—the jurist who approved Hitler’s declaration of dictatorship—generates a succession of noble authority figures, including Alexandre Kojève and Rene Girard, who enable us to understand the modern world. And what is the lesson these self-satisfied sages offer: that there ultimately is no meaning to life; humans should learn to accept this reality, by finding for themselves some “entertainment” to indulge in until they finally die!

One could readily say it’s a waste of time to wade through such opinions, but they are briefly presented here to make one elementary point: People who embrace such existentialist, anti-humanist views should never be allowed to run nations and their relations to each other.

The Outcry Mounts

Opposition has broken out against Palantir wherever its role in law enforcement, security operations, or data analytics has become visible. After years of low-key, behind-the-scenes interaction under In-Q-Tel’s guidance, Palantir started coming out of hiding and began seeking media coverage around 2011. When President Obama ordered the assassination of Osama bin Laden, rumors were circulated that Palantir’s software had played a role in the “success” of the operation. According to Max Chafkin, one expert source derided the rumor, saying a Palantir device had been used to take a picture of the corpses and nothing more. There never was any confirmation that any of this was true, but it was used to capture investments for the company, whose valuation at that time was about $2.9 billion.

The expansion of Palantir’s client base came directly from Democratic Party circles. James Carville, the noted Democratic Party political analyst pushed the city of New Orleans to use Palantir’s “predictive policing technology.” The contract was maintained between 2012 and 2015. Undoubtedly, it contributed to the next breakout for the company. In 2015, following a bloody wave of terrorism in Paris, France, costing 130 lives, Palantir was given a contract to work with the Paris police system.

In a wide range of locations, including New York City, New Orleans, and Palo Alto in the United States to Paris, France, and London, England, all kinds of community groups, professional law enforcement, and intelligence operatives have spoken out against Palantir’s methods and voiced suspicion that its software threatens civil rights. The most intense actions against the company have occurred in the U.S., where the Hispanic-American group Mijente organized demonstrations outside Karp’s house and Palantir’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, driving Karp to move the business and himself to Denver, Colorado.

Mijente erupted into action following the August 7, 2019 ICE raid, in which the border patrol agency arrested 680 illegal immigrants working at chicken processing businesses in Mississippi. Mijente charged that the methods of tracking people brought in by Palantir terrify Hispanic communities and are unconstitutional.

The day Palantir’s new office opened in Denver, Mijente demonstrators were standing in front of the building telling Palantir’s staff they were not welcome in their new location. Mijente also persuaded Hispanic-American officials in the Colorado State House to hold hearings on the company during 2022.

In Britain, where Palantir has had an ongoing relationship with the London police, the non-profit Privacy International (PI) published a 90-page exposé on Palantir’s history of invasive surveillance. PI has listed all the contracts Palantir has in Britain, and which members of the government are involved with them.

The question is: Can Palantir and the influence of its ideological founders be stopped? The level of thinking required to situate this question is indicated in the keynote speech delivered by Jacques Cheminade, founder of the LaRouche movement in France, and former Presidential candidate, who raised the problem of Palantir on February 16, 2019 at a Schiller Institute conference in Morristown, New Jersey. One week before, statesman Lyndon LaRouche had passed away at the age of 96. LaRouche’s more than half-century battle against the oligarchical disease in human civilization, and for the self-development of the sacred potential of human beings to make the creative discoveries to solve mankind’s crises, defines the level of thought and action needed to bar pathological institutions like Palantir—whose precursors are responsible for the existential problems the world faces today—from grabbing power and controlling policy.

Mark Bender contributed to this article.

[fn_1] Thiel organized a 2016 “summit” of President-elect Trump with all of the Silicon Valley billionaires, including the “liberal” clan typified by Mark Zuckerberg. With Bannon watching, Thiel helped focus the discussion on denunciations of China, with the liberals and Thiel on the same track. According to Thiel biographer Max Chafkin, Bannon was ecstatic. [back to text for fn_1]

[fn_2] William Binney, an NSA technical director, developed a program during this time called ThinThread (TT), which, in a preliminary form, was already identifying preparations for terrorist attack without intrusive surveillance of the U.S. population. Binney describes the method he used in the Oliver Stone produced film, “A Good American.” His approach was sabotaged by NSA director General Michael Hayden, driving Binney to retire in protest after the 9/11 attack. Binney insists 9/11 could have been prevented. Binney recalls how, under Hayden’s direction, private companies were banging on the door of the NSA as early as 2000 to replace his team. Binney became a co-founder of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). [back to text for fn_2]

[fn_3] Videos of Stephen Cohen from 2013 are posted on the Internet. His video, which tells the story of Palantir’s integration with national intelligence, is available here. [back to text for fn_3]

[fn_4] EIR, March 31, 2006, “Private Armies, Captive People,” by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. [back to text for fn_4]

[fn_5] Strauss is known for claiming that Plato, by referencing the Persian Empire, infused respect for a controlling class to promote “Noble Lies,” meaning to imply that such lying—such as occurred to start the Iraq war and murder Saddam Hussein—was not only justified, but necessary to govern. [back to text for fn_5]

[fn_6] Karp is proud of his 1990s studies with Jürgen Habermas of the Frankfurt School. Founded in the 1920s, originally to reconcile Marxism and Capitalism, the Frankfurt School’s leading personalities emigrated to the U.S. after Hitler’s seizure of power. Under the guidance of Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt, the Frankfurt School emigres fanned out across the U.S., with Adorno landing in California, where his particular style of erudite existentialism, spread on campuses, lent respectability to the intelligence-community infested drug culture. [back to text for fn_6]

[fn_7] This influence is exerted by Wall Street, London, and other financial outlets’ control over media and think tanks. The talking heads in these locations are then often cycled by financial pressure over politicians into government positions. [back to text for fn_7]

[fn_8] Many may recall Dick Cheney’s infamous comment on NBC’s Meet the Press five days after the 9/11 attack, “We have to work … sort of the dark side.” See “Cheney and the ‘Schmitt-lerian’ Drive for Dictatorship,” EIR, Jan. 6, 2006, p. 28, for a complete review of Cheney’s commitment to dictatorship even before the 9/11 attack occurred. Lyndon LaRouche launched a campaign for Cheney’s impeachment, knowing however that he was being run by a higher Establishment level of financiers. [back to text for fn_8]

[fn_9] George Shultz, now deceased, has been replaced by Condoleezza Rice as Director of the Hoover Institution. Rice was Secretary of State, serving in the Cheney/Bush, Jr. cabinet. In 1981, she was named a Senior Fellow at Stanford University, and from 1993-99 served there as Provost. She is generally recognized as one of Shultz’s top proteges. [back to text for fn_9]

[fn_10] See EIR, March 31, 2006 for an in-depth report on this conference: Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., “Private Armies, Captive People,” p. 4; Jeffrey Steinberg, “Rohatyn, Shultz, Cheney ‘Privatization’ Scheme to Wreck U.S. National Security,” p 7. [back to text for fn_10]

[fn_11] George Shultz was president of the privately-owned Bechtel Corporation from 1975 until 1982, at which point he joined Reagan’s cabinet. In 1989, he rejoined Bechtel as a member of the board of directors, staying in that position until 2006. [back to text for fn_11]

[fn_12] Though the Big MAC (Municipal Assistance Corporation) was finally disbanded in 2008, Rohatyn had created the political career of his protégé Michael Bloomberg, who changed New York City laws so that he could extend his mayoralty through a third term up until 2013. At that point, the ruins of New York were handed over to ideological anarchist Bill de Blasio. [back to text for fn_12]

[fn_13] For the relationship of the Anti-Defamation League to Skadden, Arps, see EIR, March 2, 1990, p. 11, “Drexel’s Law Firm—Front for the American Drug Lobby?” [back to text for fn_13]

[fn_14] Thiel has also been interviewed on this subject by the fawning Hoover Institution media host Peter Richardson. Less distracting than having to wade through Richardson’s prompts, is to read the text of “The Straussian Moment,” available here. [back to text for fn_14]

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