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.

[snip]

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

[snip]

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.

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emptywheel @siestadrive There was interesting discussion abt doing an IRV poll to make this crapshoot more sensible. I might do that. @SamWangPhD
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bmaz RT @armandodkos: "Pick a drug law you don’t like and thank Sen. Joe Biden". He deserves credit for racially disproportionate impact of drug…
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bmaz RT @armandodkos: Jeralyn discusses Biden's awful record on crime issues // Joe Biden's Plans Have Long Roots http://t.co/6EFOlYUvrq via @Ta
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bmaz They shouldn't. Not to mention that Biden is horrid on law+order/crime reform issues. @Sherry_Reson @downwithtyranny https://t.co/25b4P2XaEA
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bmaz RT @JamesWolcott: "Moments from now Republican hopeful Donald Trump will be faxing us directly from Elvis Presley's home in Memphis."
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bmaz @PogoWasRight Well, theoretically, yes. But courts let this junk in all the time when it supports the government and cops.
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bmaz Lewinski is not a doctor, not even a licensed psychologist. Just a cop loving charlatan for sale. https://t.co/bANRY60qA3
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bmaz RT @macfathom: Excellent piece on Bill Lewinski by @mattapuzzo: http://t.co/DnX6CC52oT. For more on Lewinski, see my 2010 story: http://t.c…
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emptywheel Why are they even having Koch begfest? Haven't they already declared Walker their guy?
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emptywheel @RyanLizza To be able to push back against appearance that all Dems support broad criminal justice reform?
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emptywheel Is it me, or does Marist misunderstand how polls are ALWAYS used in Presidential politics? http://t.co/rq0NVTNjW0
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emptywheel @Mario_Greenly Don't blow it for that dude.
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