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, 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...

FARCing Aaron Barr: Marcy Wheeler picks up on the general leitmotif of my piece today, highlighting tools and techniques developed by the three Team Themis firms for use against terrorist networks, now turned against U.S. citizen political opponents of their corporate clients, the U.S. Chamber and BofA. Her piece offers real world details on how HBGary's CEO and Jackass-in-Chief, Aaron Barr, had previously used the very same social media analysis tools against FARC revolutionaries --- the same tools and techniques he'd hoped to employ against people like me --- and you.

The Chamber Knew: I also noted the utter failure and complete absurdity of the U.S. Chamber's two, laughable non-denial denials (here and here) issued in the wake of this mess, claiming it was they who were the victims of "baseless attacks" and "smears", when in reality, they had simply no idea what those dastardly folks at Team Themis were up to! I noted the HBGary emails published by Anonymous showed that, in fact, the Chamber certainly knew what was going on, and how it was ridiculous on its face to presume their own law firm was acting without their direction. Today, Scott Keyes at ThinkProgress highlights a number of those emails demonstrating that the Chamber was in the loop throughout as their law firm H&W and Team Themis honed their conspiracies to defraud and defame.

Palantir Suspension: I pointed out a few of the implausibilities in the Palantir firm's claims of innocence as well, and their use of HBGary and its CEO Barr as terribly convenient fall guys (see the "Damage Control" section of yesterday's report) as the company now fights to save face and hang on to millions of dollars in government intel contracts. While the firm and their CEO, Dr. Alex Karp claimed the company "did not participate in the development" of the most "offensive" parts of the schemes, the emails show otherwise. Now, as Salon reports, one of their engineers, 26-year old Matthew Steckman, has been placed "on leave pending a thorough review of his actions" in the matter. And no, in case you're wondering, while Karp quickly called the very high-profile journalist Glenn Greenwald to offer an apology for his targeting by Team Themis after the conspiracy to discredit him came to light, Karp has yet to offer me the same courtesy, even as I was placed front and center in their ChamberPlot.

The Man Who Knew Too Little: And for those who took me up on my strong urgings to go read Nate Anderson's hilarious detailed account of Anonymous' legendary take-down of HBGary as stitched together from Barr's emails and other documents, you'll much appreciate the graphic below (and for those who haven't, go read it!)...

The above accompanies Anderson's new story tonight, yet another detailed narrative pieced together from the companies leaked documents, this one on the genesis of the short-lived Team Themis and how the U.S. Chamber's plot, and the one for Bank of America, came about --- and then didn't: "Spy Games: Inside the Convoluted Plot to Bring Down WikiLeaks".

* * *

CORRECTION: I had originally, once or twice, referred to Aaron Barr, as "Aaron Burr", the third VP of the U.S., famous for killing Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel, in the article above --- a mistake I've made once or twice when speaking about this matter since it first came to light. It's now been fixed. "Whatever one thinks of Aaron Burr," wrote commenter Steve who alerted me to the problem, "I suspect he was a far more honorable man than Aaron Barr." We apologize to Mr. Burr's ancestors for the inadvertent error.

* * *

Previously related at The BRAD BLOG:

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

* * *

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

Share article...