March 1, 2011 / by emptywheel


“Tactics Developed for Use against Terrorists May Have Been Unleashed against American Citizens”

Hmmm. “Tactics developed for use on terrorists may have been unleashed against citizens.” That sounds like something I would have written about the HB Gary scandal. Twice.

It’s nice to see some members of Congress understand what the entire problem with this scandal is about.

In a letter to be released Tuesday, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and more than a dozen other lawmakers wrote that the e-mails appear “to reveal a conspiracy to use subversive techniques to target Chamber critics,” including “possible illegal actions against citizens engaged in free speech.”

The lawmakers say it is “deeply troubling” that “tactics developed for use against terrorists may have been unleashed against American citizens.”


The companies proposed forming a “corporate information reconnaissance cell” and discussed tactics such as creating online personas to infiltrate activist Web sites; planting false information to embarrass U.S. Chamber Watch and other groups; and trolling for personal information using powerful computer software.

You almost wonder whether this is why Aaron Barr resigned? To try to stave off attention to how common it is for corporations to treat citizen speech as terrorism?

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