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UPDATED: 'GRITtv' covers as well, with in-depth discussion...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2011 1:21pm PT  

Sad to say the best video coverage so far (though that's not saying much as I noted Friday night), of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plot to dishonestly, and perhaps illegally, try and discredit, smear and illicitly undermine their perceived political enemies (such as me and, for some reason, my family) comes from HNN. That's right, from the Hacker News Network.

The report on the U.S. Chamber plot (and the related BofA/WikiLeaks plot) is the very first story --- approximately 5 mins --- right at the top of the video...

See? Was that so hard? [Hat-tip Jeannie Dean.]

* * *

UPDATE 3:55pm PT: GRITtv also covered the story in an in-depth discussion with ThinkProgress' Lee Fang and Firedoglake's Michael Whitney last Wednesday...

* * *

Previously related at The BRAD BLOG:

2/18/11: U.S. Chamber Plot Update: Malware, Fake Personas, Government Contracts, Public Shame, Bar Complaints, Media Failures and Other News

2/15/11: Special Green News Report on the U.S. Chamber Plot

2/14/11: Late Updates on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Plot to Target, Discredit, Defraud Political Enemies

2/14/11: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thugs Used 'Terror Tools' for Disinfo Scheme Targeting Me, My Family, Other Progressive U.S. Citizens, Groups

2/10/11: Hacked Emails Show U.S. Chamber of Commerce Targeted VelvetRevolution.US, Other Progressive Groups With Massive Disinfo Campaign

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Latest developments in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce scheme to illicitly target me and my family, as well as other progressive citizens, journalists and organizations...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2011 8:04pm PT  

It's strange, difficult and a bit uncomfortable reporting on the $12 million U.S. Chamber disinfo plot and smear campaign after finding myself (and my family), much less VelvetRevolution.us (VR), the non-profit organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG, as direct targets of it. As you might have assumed, there is much going on behind the scenes that I can't report on at this time, but I've been happy to see some fairly decent coverage --- even by some in the print MSM, if not much in the broadcast media yet --- of this important, disturbing and still developing story.

It's easier to talk and opine on what I've learned about the plot, as I've been doing in a lot of media interviews over the past week (a few of those radio appearances are linked below), than it is to actually report on it, per se. Yet, there have been several noteworthy points and advancements in the story over the past week since I originally covered it in depth here on Monday.

New information being dug up over the last several days, since I initially reported on this story in depth at the beginning of the week, now indicates that the Chamber Plotters had likely intended to use cyber attacks and hacks against us as well.

Those key updates, and the very quickest of backgrounders for those unfamiliar with the sordid tale up until now, follow below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/17/2011 1:25pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Heavier storms now definitely linked to climate change... But one MT legislator says "Bring it on"; Score one for the whales; PLUS: Oil subsidies, shmoil-shmubsidies --- Republicans vs. Obama's budget and Big Bird vs. Big Oil ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Rising seas forecast to flood US coasts by 2100; Public trusts EPA, tells Congress butt out; Study: Trillions in investment at risk from climate change; Coal's hidden costs: $345 Billion; Oil cos. unveil spill containment system; Huge solar flare jams radio, satellite signals; UN sounds alarm on ocean pollution; Screwdriver blamed for nuclear plant shutdown; UK's Cameron abandons forest sell-off plan; Apple admits child labor, poisoned factory workers; 3 states challenge feds on nuclear waste; Teen makes homemade solar death ray ... PLUS: 2/3rds of permafrost gone by 2200: study ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
SPECIAL: The U.S. Chamber's Secret Smear Campaign...
By Desi Doyen on 2/15/2011 1:44pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S SPECIAL RADIO REPORT: All-out Info War: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest & most powerful corporate lobbying firm, caught plotting a $12 million disinformation campaign against progressive U.S. organizations, journalists and citizens, including yours truly...

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
Embed:

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EXTENDED (non-Chamber-related) EXTRA!:... Obama budget, GOP's draconian cuts; Judge fines Chevron $8 Billion for Ecuador pollution; Strip-mining to begin on sea floor; Actor Costner sued over Gulf oil invention; World approaching "peak phosphorous"?; Alaska warming at 3x rate of Lower 48; Natural gas surge in BP spill; KY protestors sit-in at gov's office against mountaintop removal mining; GE pays handsomely for stake in oil business; EU Carbon trading system plagued by fraud; Smog continues to plague Joshua Tree NP; Insurers warn premiums set to rise for natural disasters; Solar panels can help your home sell faster; Generation HOT: Calling out "climate cranks"; Pesticide co. hires federal agency to challenge pesticide-Parkinson's link ... PLUS: The worst eco-disasters of all time! ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2011 11:53pm PT  

A few quick followups tonight to my lengthy story from this morning on the proposed $2 million per month plot created for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to use tools and techniques from the so-called "War on Terror" against U.S. citizens, journalists and groups who opposed their strong-arm lobbying tactics.

As noted, one of those they'd planned to target in hopes of discrediting in their nefarious scheme was yours truly, as well as my family, and VelvetRevolution.us, the non-profit, non-partisan organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG. I was specifically targeted personally as the Chamber's first, "Tier 1" opponent in a Power Point presentation prepared for the nation's largest corporate lobby's law firm Hunton & Williams (H&W) by the three cyber-security/intelligence firms, HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies & Palantir Technologies. The triumvirate called themselves "Team Themis" in the plots developed for the U.S. Chamber to fraudulently discredit opponents and for a very similar scheme made for Bank of America to try and disrupt WikiLeaks.

So here are a few items following up on our previous report...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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And why they are likely to get away with it...
By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2011 6:05am PT  

"[W]ho better to develop a corporate information reconnaissance capability than companies that have been market leaders within the DoD and Intelligence Community."
- 'Team Themis', from their 11/3/10 "Corporate Information Reconnaissance Cell" proposal delivered to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's law firm Hunton & Williams.


As I learned late last Thursday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful Rightwing lobbying group in the country, was revealed to have been working with their law firm and a number of private cyber security and intelligence firms to target progressive organizations, journalists and citizens who they felt were in opposition to their political activism, tactics and points of view.

As I went on the air Thursday night --- my fifth in a six-day guest hosting stint on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show --- revelations about the planned multi-million dollar political hit job by the security/intelligence firms working to develop a scheme for the U.S. Chamber (and another one, almost identical to it, on behalf of Bank of America) were just beginning to come to light. Both plots were being developed by the Chamber and BofA by the very same law firm, Hunton & Williams and with the cyber intelligence firms HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies & Palantir Technologies.

As the show began, I was able to report the news, based on an exclusive report from Lee Fang at ThinkProgress, that internal emails from one of the firms, confirmed that VelvetRevolution.us (VR), a progressive non-partisan, non-profit organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG, and its StopTheChamber.com campaign were specifically highlighted as targets of the Chamber's plot which was proposed to include the planting of a "false document", in hopes they'd be publicly released by VR or other progressive groups, so the U.S. Chamber could then claim the groups involved had created a forgery.

The plan also involved creating "two fake insider personas", one at VR and another at the unrelated Change To Win organization, which had employed a coalition of union groups to create a non-profit campaign, some months after VR's, called U.S. Chamber Watch. The plan presented by Team Themis, as the three security firms called themselves, would then use one of the "fake personas" as "leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second" in hopes of publicizing the fraudulent appearance of some sort of "conspiracy" between the various progressive organizations in order to somehow discredit them.

As Thursday's show continued, I received confirmation that I, personally, along with members of my family, had been highlighted in Themis' proposed hit job, as ThinkProgress followed up with a second story, based on several other emails from HBGary's CEO Aaron Barr. The email focused on me included names, personal information, home addresses, etc. of myself, family members and a number of other members of VR. Naturally, I reported on the then-confirmed news in the second hour of that night's Malloy Show.

An hour or so after the show went off the air Thursday night, The BRAD BLOG was no longer reachable, as our server had been knocked off line hard, so I was unable to follow up with much more information. The server we use, which is also the home for many other progressive websites, was out of commission for nearly 24 hours, though I am told by our server admin that the very unusual outage was related to a serious hardware failure which occurred at what was clearly a very inopportune --- and, naturally, suspiciously timed --- moment. Moments before Friday's show, The BRAD BLOG was finally back up and online.

Over the weekend then, I've finally been able to catch up with a lot of what I had otherwise been unable to on Friday due to the server outage and the need to prep for Friday's show while all of this was happening (and as the Egypt regime was collapsing at the same moment).

As I, and other journalists, have been plowing through some of the tens of thousands of emails from HBGary's CEO --- as stolen and released by the "hacktivist" organization calling themselves Anonymous, following Barr's public threat to expose their names --- I've been able to learn a lot more about the U.S. Chamber plan.

Part of the plan included highlighting me as a "Tier 1" player in a sophisticated disinformation/discrediting scheme that relied on high-tech tools developed for the U.S. Government's "War on Terror".

Team Themis' U.S. Chamber of Commerce plan was to deploy the very same techniques and technology used to track terrorists, terror organizations, and nations such as Iran, against private non-profit political advocates and citizens in the U.S.

As disturbing (and there is a lot that every American citizen and every member of the American media ought to be very disturbed by in this story) Hunton & Williams (H&W), the law firm working on behalf of the U.S. Chamber and the Bank of America, had been recommended to BofA, the nation's largest bank, for the parallel hit scheme to target and discredit WikiLeaks, by our own U.S. Department of Justice.

In addition to Barr's email offering personal information on me and my family, the H&W scheme by Team Themis, created for the U.S. Chamber, also included a Power Point presentation in which I am personally highlighted, with photograph, along with my wife "Martha" and "2 boys, James and John Friedman" at our "home at 1055 Raywood Ln, Silver Springs, MD".

Of course, I'm not married and have no children and don't live in MD, but these are the huge private firms receiving millions, if not billions, in U.S. tax-payer dollars to target terrorists, after all, so why let such details like accuracy, or targeting innocent people, or citizens and journalists exercising their right to free speech get in the way of a potential $2 million dollar per month contract from the U.S. Chamber get in the way? The Chamber, of course, is also funded by the world's largest corporations who receive billions in tax-payer bailout dollars and subsidies from the U.S. Government. Can you feel the synergy? Team Themis certainly did...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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UPDATE: 'Brad Friedman' and family personally targeted as well...
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2011 4:00pm PT  

UPDATE 2/14/11: A big update, and a lot of new details on this entire story (including the Chamber plot targeting me) now here...

* * *

UPDATE 9:03pm PT: Yes, they do target and name ME and my family, including personal details about us specifically, as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's disinformation attack, as ThinkProgress notes in an update tonight:

Another target was Brad Friedman, co-founder of The Brad Blog. Barr’s profile of Friedman included information about his life partner and his home address.

See TP's most recent article for some of the emails, etc. These are horrible people.

* * *

[Preparing to guest host tonight's Mike Malloy Show, so forgive the terser than usual coverage here as I'm just now learning about this, but wanted to get something out quickly. I expect there will be more to come on this, as you can probably imagine.]

It looks like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce --- the Rightwing lobbying firm now allowed to accept hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in secret funding from corporations likely subsidized with your tax dollars --- has been caught in the act of creating a $2 million disinformation campaign to attack progressive organizations such as VelvetRevolution.us and its StopTheChamber.com initiative. [Since we believe in disclosure, unlike the Chamber: VR was co-founded by The BRAD BLOG.]

After the disinfo campaign targeted "Anonymous," the online "hacktivist" organization which had been working to disrupt those who companies who had attacked WikiLeaks (see our December '10 report: "'ALL-OUT CYBER WAR' OVER WIKILEAKS"), "Anonymous" struck back by hacking one of the "intelligence security firms" retained by the Chamber and posting thousands of their emails online.

Coverage from ThinkProgress' Lee Fang just an hour or two ago includes a snippet from one of the proposals given to the Chamber on November 29, 2010 mentioning Velvet Revolution and a plan to "create a false document," "fake insider personas," and do whatever they needed to do to "discredit" the organization by planting misinformation....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Tonight: Tom Tomorrow, Egypt & the U.S. Chamber Attacks!...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 2/10/2011 3:58pm PT  

[Now UPDATED below with audio from tonight's show.]

We're back tonight guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show for the Progressively Cruising Malloys. (They picked a good week to get out of here!)

We're BradCasting LIVE again tonight, 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE and lively chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so please come on by and say hey while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Tonight (so far):

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Wow. Learned during the show that I (and my family) was personally targeted by the U.S. Chamber. That made an already wild show, even more insane. The commercial-free audio archives now follow below... (You can read the chat room archives below as well!)...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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