This story is just amazing. There is so much to it and so many highly incriminating revelations that it's like a candy store of sunshine.
Take the surprisingly overlooked revelation that Aaron Barr, CEO of HB Gary Federal, told a colleague that he intended to "post on the HBGary Fed and HBGary website, Daily Kos, tweet, and post on the anonymous FB page.” Here's the whole excerpt as posted by Crowdleaks.org :
Aaron Barr “They still don’t get it. They think all I know is their irc names!!!!! I know their real fing names.” he brags to a colleague. “My plan is to post on the HBGary Fed and HBGary website, Daily Kos, tweet, and post on the anonymous FB page.” He goes on to reiterate “No they are not freaked out. They don’t get it…Greg will tell you. They think I have nothing but a heirarchy based on IRC aliases!”
Now, if we take this at purely face value, we could infer that Barr may already have a Daily Kos account, and may have posted here before. It would be interesting, when the DK3 archives are back up, to sniff out commenters who are posting anti-Anonymous (the hacking group he was referring to who "don't get it") diatribes etc.
If you will recall, in the big proposal for Hunton & Williams law firm on how to go after the Chamber of Commerce's enemies (i.e. us), one of the ideas was to create two fake "personas":
5. If needed, create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second.
In another proposal, the one dealing with Wikileaks, they talk about "feed[ing] the fuel between feuding groups", creating "disinformation", and creating "messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organizations".
Many of us have long suspected that our various community sites have been infiltrated by "personas". So in a sense, this is not surprising. But it at least this gives verification to our paranoia.
We on the left, from labor unions to environmental activists to bloggers, we are all under a full scale information warfare attack. This particular episode is just a glimpse. The tip of the iceberg. But let there be no doubt. It did not start here. This is not an aberration. And all of the parties that are claiming ignorance and feigning outrage are lying.
These operations involve corporate law firms like Hunton & Williams, PR firms, intelligence contractors like HB Gary Federal who, as was also revealed in the leaked emails, has ties with the NSA and other government agencies, and members of the press.
For evidence of the latter, look no further than the New York Times. In their only article to date covering this bombshell scandal, which may as well be titled "Nothing to See Here, Move Along", the writers, Eric Lipton and Charlie Savage, open with a big fat lie.
WASHINGTON — A fight between a group of pro-WikiLeaks hackers and a California-based Internet security business has opened a window onto the secretive world of private companies that offer to help corporations investigate and discredit their critics.
This hilarious line, highlighted in bold, sets up the deceptive narrative that will drive this story throughout - that these "private companies" acted on their own and Hunton & Williams knew nothing about it.
This is, of course, false. As reported by Think Progress , emails clearly establish that Hunton & Williams attorneys were, at the very least, involved in the planning process from the beginning, and were almost certainly the solicitors of the contract. Even Lipton and Savage's article confirms that the writers were aware of Hunton & Williams attorneys communicating back and forth with the contractors as early as Nov. 2010.
Now, before anyone thinks I'm accusing Charlie Savage of being a disinfo operative, let me make clear, that I don't. And I don't believe the New York Times or its reporters are involved in some mass conspiracy to coverup the Hunton & Williams incident. This is just the establishment press being the establishment press - always covering for their own class, playing fealty to power.
But it is widely known that some " reporters " are actually operatives working for interests other than their readers or their own papers. Who knows who they are? But when you have a story like this, where the main parties are so completely busted, it's a good opportunity to see where the establishment press lands on the issue.
So what I'm looking for to see where journalists, pundits, or editors are at on this story is threefold:
1. who is and isn't covering this story at all. So far, the establishment press has been a no show except for a few exceptions. I wouldn't call it a blackout, like the 2007 one following the David Barstow story in the Times about military analysts on network TV payrolls who were merely mouthpieces for Bush talking points. But it's close. Maybe the Times will put Barstow on this story as well and redeem themselves somewhat.
2. Does their coverage capture the hugeness of this story, that it reveals how one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in the country was hired upon the recommendation of the Justice Department to assemble a team of DEFENSE CONTRACTORS to engage in criminal and loathsome acts against American citizens?
3. Will that coverage be honest or will it following the footsteps of Eric Lipton and Charlie Savage and deceive its readers about the nature and facts of this story?