In one recent article about the unprecedented move to deny Guo bail, which they approve of, China Daily discloses at the end that “Agencies contributed to this story” – raising the obvious question of what agencies in particular. As fate would have it, the answer may have been revealed days prior, as it came right after arrests were made at a secret Chinese Police Station in New York City, and dozens of officers of China’s national police force were charged in connection to running an elite task force called the “912 Special Group.” The 912 Group is named after September 12th, the day that Guo filed for asylum in the U.S. after fleeing CCP persecution.
The main purpose of the 912 Group is to target, intimidate, and harass Guo and his supporters in the New Federal State of China movement, with the ultimate goal of deporting Guo back to China where he faces certain political imprisonment or death.
The 912 Group is part of a larger 912 Project that includes Ministry of Public Security (MPS) officers from Bejing’s Municipal Public Security Bureau working in a “Command Group,” “Comprehensible Material Group,” and “Assessment Group.” This includes MPS officers from the National Security Police, the Political Security Protection Bureau – the CCP’s secret police that are mandated to suppress political dissent and criticism of the CCP, Criminal Investigations Bureau, and Internet Security Bureau. The group also receives taskings directly from MPS headquarters.
Without question, this is an extremely extensive operation that goes all the way up to the CCP’s equivalent of the CIA, and it has the central mission of stopping Guo.
According to the complaint and affidavit in support for the arrest warrant of these “912 Group” CCP operatives complaint, the CCP sent several undeclared agents from the Ministry of State Security to cause Guo’s “coerced repatriation” to China as part of a “Fox Hunt” initiative. Documents and photographs uncovered depict members working to monitor and disrupt Guo’s online activity, which occurred daily, including on the weekend and holidays. They also then began targeting any individuals who spoke positively of Guo.
A number of posts the troll farm posted against Guo threatened that his “End is approaching” and that be “may end up with a tragic ending.”
The 912 Project Officers received a tasking directing officers to call on U.S. law enforcement to take action against Guo.
This revelation raises questions as to the extent to which China’s propaganda apparatus has influenced American media coverage of Guo.
A handful of publications that regularly publish reports on Guo where they come across as stenographers of the CCP include Mother Jones, the NY Times, and Wall Street Journal.
All articles about Guo published by Mother Jones are authored by Dani Friedman. As investigative journalist Natalie Winters uncovered, through his past employment at National Journal,“Friedman is linked to CUSEF, which aims ‘to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party.’” FARA filings reveal that journalists from National Journal participated in private dinners and sponsored trips to China organized by CUSEF. The relationship between National Journal and CUSEF spans several years, and Mother Jones has also published other people with ties to CUSEF.
Is Mother Jones working with the CCP to plant their propaganda in American outlets?
For every article Friedman has published in Mother Jones, there’s an equivalent to be found in China’s state media, whether it be baseless allegations of fraud, questioning Guo’s legitimacy as a whistleblower, accuding Guo is pushing misinformation, and other identically themed attacks. A similar pattern can be gleaned in reading other publications that have covered Guo, including the New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times.
These are the same kind of allegations that the 912 Group deployed against Guo. As is outlined in the FBI’s legal complaint against the group, their activities “have been used to attempt to undermine perceptions of [Miles Guo’s] reliability,” which include accusing Guo of being a liar, “national thief” and “crimes [that] are too numerous to mention,” and baseless allegations of rape, versions of which have all appeared in U.S. media.
In turn, Guo’s enemies have then cited these media reports in court filings. For example, Luc Despins, the trustee in a bankruptcy case involving Guo, and his law firm Paul Hastings, have repeatedly cited Mother Jones and the Wall Street Journal in their legal filings. In a particularly damning case to their own credibility, Hastings cited articles critical of Guo from a website called The Unz Review at least five times in legal filings. Amid other controversies, the Unz Review has previously been accused of pushing holocaust denial, but specific to the Guo case, the articles criticizing Guo were written by Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar. It was thanks to Escobar’s uncredible reporting that Despins was able to convince a court that assets owned by Guo’s family were owned by him, which led to a $135 million fine against Guo.
According to the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, Escobar’s work has appeared in at least two online journalists that act as pro-Russia propaganda sites, and has also written for the Russian state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik News. Notably, China is one of Russia’s few allies amid the war in Ukraine.
The revelations about the 912 Group leave no doubt that some of the U.S. media is corrupted by the CCP – and its consequences are only just beginning.