You are hereRAW Story: US Chamber lobbyists map strategies to discredit progressive critics

RAW Story: US Chamber lobbyists map strategies to discredit progressive critics

Report claims Chamber hired firm hacked by 'Anonymous'

February 11, 2011- Lobbyists for the US Chamber of Commerce have been working with firms to develop methods to deceive and discredit the Chamber's most vocal progressive opponents, according to documents obtained by ThinkProgress.

Lee Fang of the liberal blog reports that the Chamber and its hired firms mapped ways to attack labor and progressive groups that have taken on the powerful business lobby, "in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and"

In one document prepared by a group called Themis, US Chamber Watch is singled out as "one of the most active members of the opposition." It notes that the Chamber, unlike many of its critics, is "politically connected," making its opponents "vulnerable to information operations that could embarrass the organization and those associated with it."

A six-point plan to discredit the US Chamber Watch includes depicting it as a pawn of labor federation Change to Win, and tying it to labor leader Andy Stern and Velvet Revolution. It also proposes swindling the group by creating "a false document" about the Chamber's finances and, once it's publicized, providing "explicit evidence proving that such transactions never occurred."

"Also," it continues, "create a fake insider persona and generate communications with CtW. Afterward, release the actual documents at a specified time and explain the activity as a CtW contrived operation. Both instances will prove that US Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth."

ThinkProgress reports that the Chamber hired lobbying firm Hunton and Williams and a set of private security companies -- HB Gary Federal, Palantir, Berico Technologies --  three of which apparently comprise "Team Themis."

A Team Themis document said Phase I of the plan to "collect, analyze, and affect adversarial entities and networks of interest" would cost $200,000, and Phase II would cost $2 million.

The Chamber denied any knowledge of "the document" -- though it didn't say which one -- and claimed it didn't hire the security firm that created it.



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