Progressives Demand House GOP Committee Chairs Investigate Hunton & Williams

When I first posted on Hank Johnson’s letter demanding an investigation into Hunton & Williams’ appropriation of counterterrorist techniques to attack citizen speech, I was a bit skeptical. Without a way to get some coverage of the demand, such a letter risks being yet one more angry letter into the void.

But I will say the letter is well-constructed.

That’s because it’s addressed to the Chairmen of the Oversight, Judiciary, Intelligence, and Armed Services Committees: Darrell Issa, Lamar Smith, Mike Rogers, and Buck McKeon. So in addition to someone, like Smith, who can address the legal issues involved–notably, why DOJ was recommending H&W to Bank of America–Johnson and others have included Rogers and McKeon, who presumably know a good deal about how DOD has funded campaigns like the one H&W was going to launch against citizens.

Which brings us to the DOD tie-in:

The techniques may have been developed at U.S. government expense to target terrorists and other security threats. The emails indicated that these defense contractors planned to mine social network sites for information on Chamber critics; planned to plant “false documents” and “fake insider personas” that would be used to discredit the groups; and discussed the use of malicious and intrusive software (“malware”) to steal private information from the groups and disrupt their internal electronic communications.


It is deeply troubling to think that tactics developed for use against terrorists may have been unleashed against American citizens.


Possible proof the defense and security contractors may have traded on their government work is inferred by a November 3, 2010, sales proposal from Team Themis to Hunton & Williams: “Who better to develop a corporate information reconnaissance capability than companies that have been market leaders within the [Defense Department] and Intelligence Community?

The focus, in other words, is not just on how such a campaign violates the law, but also how it represents the application of DOD-developed programs to private citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.

Sure, the GOP Chairs will ignore this.

But it’ll make them complicit in protecting the Chamber’s and H&W’s misappropriation of DOD technology.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

0 Responses to Progressives Demand House GOP Committee Chairs Investigate Hunton & Williams

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @bsdtectr @davidaxelrod @benwizner Long way to go, but I have some questions about what prosecution is doing w/only a 1st degree+no backups.
bmaz @astepanovich Oh hey, two of my favorite humans! That's awesome. Alex is a riot.
emptywheel @climatebrad We have biometrics of all non-citizens, including regular green card holders. It's their test for biometrics for us.
bmaz I heart Alex Kozinski
bmaz @davidaxelrod @benwizner Oh, and by the way, yes this choice of procedure and charging does raise questions about the prosecution
bmaz @AriMelber Yes, was excellent work by @muckrakery @tvkatesnow @MSBC
bmaz @davidaxelrod @benwizner Hi there. Van Dyke is STILL not indicted. It is a single count direct complaint with a prelim setting.
bmaz Well, they got a Russian plane shot down today, how much more they want?
bmaz RT @thekarami: Exclusive video confirming Trump's accusation that Arabs were celebrating after 9/11...I think.
bmaz RT @charlie_savage: As OLC chief, Moss signed off on '99 Kosovo NATO air war & War Powers Res dispute-precursor to Libya & same in '11 htt…
bmaz @emptywheel I'd as soon never hear about either group again.
bmaz @shortbusworld Make this argument to somebody else. I am not your guy. This is absolute bullshit.
March 2011
« Feb   Apr »